A Nesquehoning couple, schedule for trial this week, pleaded guilty in Carbon County court to welfare fraud.

Annette Neyer, 58, and Kermit Sponheimer, 57, both of 151 W. Columbus Ave., pleaded to one count each of welfare fraud. In an unrelated matter Sponheimer pleaded to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

The two were charged by the state Department of Welfare, Wilkes-Barre office, with receiving public assistance funds and food stamps at a time they were not entitled to receive them. The arrest date was listed as July 31, 2007, but the complaint dates to 2008.

Sponheimer was arrested on the drug count on Sept. 18, 2009, by Lansford police in the 100 block of W. Ridge St. Found on him during a vehicle stop was a hypodermic needle used for illegal drug use.

President Judge Roger N. Nanovic placed both on probation for two years and ordered restitution of $3,033.52 to the Department of Welfare with each defendant responsible for one half that figure. It was indicated restitution was to be made immediately.

Nanovic also ordered zero tolerance on drug or alcohol use by both defendants and each must pay a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation.

On the drug count Sponheimer was placed on probation for a year running concurrent with the welfare sentence.