Crime & Courts

Crime & Courts

SALEM — A second person has been charged with five felonies in connection with insurance fraud allegations stemming from a 2013 house fire in Salem.

Desiree DeBartolo, 60, of Wells, Vermont, was charged with third-degree insurance fraud, third-degree grand larceny and three counts of forgery in connection with allegations that false claims for rental reimbursement were made after a fire.

Co-defendant Robert P. Smilansky, 60, of Salem, was charged days earlier. They were accused of fabricating thousands of dollars of housing vouchers after a fire.

Both defendants have pleaded not guilty to indictments in Washington County Court, and are free pending further court action.

The case was investigated by the state Department of Finance and the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

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