WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WENY) - A Watkins Glen man has pleaded guilty after he was found to have stolen $300,000 while employed by a Watkins Glen Supply, a family owned hardware store.

The Schuyler County District Attorney's Office said that the charges come from a period between 2013 and 2020 when 48 year old Louis Latorre was employed by Watkins Glen Supply.

According to the District Attorney's office, Latorre stole in excess of $300,000 during those years by generating fictitious returns and pocketing money.

His crimes were uncovered in 2020, when a surveillance camera in the store caught him putting cash in his pocket.

Once it was determined that Latorre had stolen the money, the Schuyler County Department of Social Services was notified by the District Attorney's Office that welfare fraud was likely being committed by Latorre and his wife.

An investigation by the Department of Social Services showed that Latorre was depositing thousands of dollars into his bank account on a monthly basis, that was far in excess of his true earnings.

Neither Latorre nor his wife, Kimberly Latorre, had reported this excess income, as required by law. As a result of not reporting his additional income that he stole, Latorre and his wife were overpaid in public benefits in excess of $125,000.

LaTorre pled guilty to the charges of Grand Larceny, Welfare Fraud, and Falsifying Business Records.

He faces 5 to 15 years in prison and his wife's case is still pending.