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UPDATED -- Bar owner charged with welfare fraud

2013-02-13T09:31:00Z 2013-02-13T15:48:08Z UPDATED -- Bar owner charged with welfare fraudBy DON LEHMAN -- dlehman@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star
February 13, 2013 9:31 am  • 

The Glens Falls bar operator who was at the center of a controversy over his liquor license was jailed late Tuesday on multiple felony charges that accuse him of welfare fraud.

Robert G. Neuweiler, 60, of 7 South Ave., Warrensburg was charged with felony counts of welfare fraud, grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing in connection with applications for emergency heating assistance over a 4-year period, according to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

He is accused of illegally receiving $5,945 in Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) benefits from the Warren County Department of Social Services beginning in 2008.

Neuweiler operates The Messenger House bar in Glens Falls, a bar that Glens Falls officials opposed and for which he got a state liquor license despite a 2004 felony cocaine sale conviction. He has also sought to open a second bar in Glens Falls and has a pending liquor license application for that establishment.

Police said he received payments for which he was not eligible by improperly reporting that he lived in a single family home and did not have any rental income when he converted his home to a two-family residence in 2006.

Neuweiler also owns or co-owns at least three properties in Warrensburg, including a bar with apartments above it and a building for which he sought town approval to operate a pizzeria and self-storage units, police said.

At least two of the buildings have rental apartments, some of them having tenants who received public assistance, police said.

Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Stockdale said the charges pertain specifically to the unclaimed rental income from his South Avenue home, which was not reported for the HEAP application.

The Post-Star has also learned that Neuweiler is the subject of a police investigation related to a recent drug investigation that netted the Warren County Sheriff’s Office more than a two pounds of cocaine late last year. Five people were arrested, including the operator of Longshots Restaurant & Bar in Lake George.

Police sources said Neuweiler was recorded on a wiretapped phone call contacting one of the alleged dealers seeking to buy cocaine last fall. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

Stockdale said he could not comment on Neuweiler’s status in the investigation as of Wednesday.

“That investigation is ongoing and we anticipate there will be additional arrests but I can’t say against which specific people at this point,” Stockdale said.

Neuweiler was arraigned and sent to Warren County Jail for lack of bail.

Sheriff’s Investigator Kevin Conine and Warren County Department of Social Services Investigator Elizabeth Burke handled the welfare fraud case.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(16) Comments

  1. debila
    Report Abuse
    debila - March 29, 2014 12:00 pm
    Bobby is a great guy with a big heart that will help anyone in need. Its not fair that he should be entangled in the court system. He had a major accident and was probably on meds that made him get sucked into making wrong decisions. He is a kind business man who is very intelligent in the bar business. I'm sure he was set up and got involved in the wrong crowd. He is not a drunk or cheat and he needs to clear his name. I've known bobby for over 35 years and he has always abided by the law. He has respect for laws and has always run successful businesses.
  2. local433girl
    Report Abuse
    local433girl - February 19, 2013 9:28 am
    You know, it just fries me that so many of us work so hard, obey laws and rules, pay our taxes, and try to do the right thing, and then there are guys like this with bad histories who inexplicably qualify for some sort of public assistance like HEAP. Where has the system gone awry?
  3. DaisyD
    Report Abuse
    DaisyD - February 17, 2013 4:38 pm
    They should've been looking into him further anyway, what is a felon with a drug arrest doing with a liquor license in the first place? I'd like to know how he snubbed the mayor, I haven't heard/read that story yet. If they are digging up dirt for that reason, it is a crappy reason, but this guy obviously doesn't care about the law.
  4. independentguy
    Report Abuse
    independentguy - February 16, 2013 4:14 pm
    prosecute him just as you would anyone else, however, i found it more than a coincidence that he is being sought out after snubbing the mayor.
  5. myopinion123
    Report Abuse
    myopinion123 - February 15, 2013 4:47 pm
    Let him go , they let all the child molesters go , he's just trying to make a buck in this hard economy ......he got caught ...their all doing the same thing , what do you think goes down on SOUTH ST. " The Blvd of broken dreams, Loservill will never change I've lived here for 20 years and it has not changed at all, the losers have to go somewhere, let it be South St.
  6. Adirondackboy
    Report Abuse
    Adirondackboy - February 14, 2013 10:20 pm
    Geesh... you think someone at the Warren County DSS might run some names through Accurint before issuing benefits like this?

    Don't take away his business, then this tool couldn't pay the money back. Make him reimburse the County for 3 times the amount of money.
  7. Key
    Report Abuse
    Key - February 14, 2013 5:04 pm
    I fully agree with you. I am surprised that he even qualified for any liquor license in the fist place. New York State Liquor Authority needs to be more diligent in their investigations.
  8. Robert McCabe
    Report Abuse
    Robert McCabe - February 14, 2013 3:56 pm
    He should stay in jail.
  9. scottycc31
    Report Abuse
    scottycc31 - February 14, 2013 1:18 pm
    With his name in the paper so much.....for his current bar, and the other he wants to open.....I don't really think they had to dig too far.
  10. 5756917
    Report Abuse
    5756917 - February 14, 2013 10:12 am
    if found guilty, all his liquor licenses should be taken away and he should not be able to operate any kind of establishment with liquor. Guess this guy's questionable doings finally caught up with him.
  11. Bob1234
    Report Abuse
    Bob1234 - February 13, 2013 4:03 pm
    But didn't Mitt Romney teach us that welfare cheats are part of the "47 percent who are dependent upon government"? How'd a small businessman get caught up in all that? It's gotta be Obama's fault....
  12. beyond - belief
    Report Abuse
    beyond - belief - February 13, 2013 3:00 pm
    I think they call it KARMA ..........
  13. halfmoon777
    Report Abuse
    halfmoon777 - February 13, 2013 1:29 pm
    looks like city officials went digging for some dirt and got what they came for
  14. Mike Yahwak
    Report Abuse
    Mike Yahwak - February 13, 2013 12:57 pm
    what a piece of work how many others are doing the same thing ??
  15. scottycc31
    Report Abuse
    scottycc31 - February 13, 2013 11:26 am
    Let me guess..........that he's going to apply for a Public Defender too!!!!!
  16. WT
    Report Abuse
    WT - February 13, 2013 9:59 am
    Not exactly the formula for keeping a low profile.

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