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.