FORT EDWARD — Two people face a five-count felony indictment in Washington County Court alleging insurance fraud after a 2013 house fire, court records show.
Robert P. Smilansky, 60, of Salem, was charged with felony counts of grand larceny, insurance fraud and forgery after an investigation by the state Department of Finance into alleged insurance fraud, according to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office.
Another person was also listed as being indicted, but she had not been arrested as of Thursday and her name was not released.
Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan said the allegations related to claims that were filed by Smilansky and the other person after the fire for reimbursement of housing expenses. He is accused of fabricating thousands of dollars worth of vouchers that were paid.
The theft amounted to more than $3,000 but less than $50,000, Jordan said.
Jordan said it was unclear how the Department of Finance became aware of the alleged fraud. A call to the agency was not returned Thursday.
Smilansky was arrested by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday and held in Washington County Jail pending arraignment Thursday.
With the consent of Jordan’s office, Washington County Judge Kelly McKeighan agreed to release Smilansky on his own recognizance after his lawyer, Dustin Bruhns, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
He faces up to 7 years in state prison on the grand larceny and forgery counts.
Prior media reports show Smilansky was also arrested by the Sheriff’s Office on felony charges in 2013 related to accusations he falsely reported his income to receive $5,644 in food stamps and Medicaid benefits, police said.
The file from that case is sealed, which means there was a disposition in his favor.