QUEENSBURY -- Elvis has left the building - the Warren County Sheriff's Office building, that is.
The Sheriff's Office arrested a Glens Falls man Thursday who is a well-known Elvis tribute artist on charges of welfare fraud because he allegedly did not report all of his Elvis income while receiving $50,297 in public assistance.
The man, Joseph E. Ramsey, 33, and his wife, Angela J. Ramsey, 33, of LaRose Gardens, each face 13 felony charges of grand larceny, welfare fraud, health care fraud and offering a false instrument for filing, according to court records.
They allegedly received $34,911 in Medicaid benefits and $15,386 in food stamp benefits since 2008 to which they were not entitled, court records allege.
The Ramseys were charged after an investigation by the Sheriff's Office and Warren County Department of Social Services that began over the summer when sheriff's Investigator Kevin Conine received a tip that Joseph Ramsey was collecting public assistance while not reporting all of his income.
The couple has been receiving public assistance "on and off" since 2003, social services Investigator Elizabeth Burke wrote in an affidavit filed in Queensbury Town Court.
Ramsey has appeared in Elvis shows around the country, and was a frequent prize winner at the annual Lake George Elvis Festival in recent years.
He also operates a company, J.R. Entertainment, through which he books Elvis impersonator appearances.
It was through the company's website that Conine determined that Joseph Ramsey was not claiming thousands of dollars of his Elvis impersonation earnings going back to 2008, court records allege.
Conine checked with organizers of the events and contests Joseph Ramsey attended, and found inaccuracies in the amount of income he was reporting throughout the three-year period in question, court records show.
Some of the venues and events did not respond to investigators' request for information, Burke wrote.
"There is indication from some of the venue respondents that Joe had, at times, taken a percentage of the cover charge for some venues," Burke wrote.
Court records show that the Ramseys appeared to underreport the income on their federal and state tax returns in the years in question as well.
For instance, they reported $6,650 in gross income in 2008, but the Sheriff's Office review found "at least $9,950" in income that year, court records show. Subsequent years appeared to be underreported by $2,500 to $4,800, according to court records.
The Ramseys were arraigned in Queensbury Town Court and released on their own recognizance, pending further prosecution.
A phone message left at the Ramseys' home was not returned Friday afternoon.