FLEMINGTON, NJ – A Hunterdon couple who filed phony claims for Social Security and other benefits will avoid jail time if they comply with the terms of their five-year probation.
Judge Angela F. Borkowski approved the plea deal yesterday, which also requires the couple to pay $70,000 in restitution to the county, according to a press release from Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III.
Christopher Pennetta, 52, and his wife, Catherine Pennetta, 57, both of Pittstown, were arrested in 2016 after an eigh- month investigation revealed they submitted misleading applications for social services and Social Security benefits going back to March of 2014.
The pair also failed to file and pay income taxes in 2014 and 2015, according to the statement.
The Pennettas also ran a home improvement business from their home without the proper registration in 2015 and 2016., Kearns said. Their indictments were handed down by a Hunterdon Grand Jury about a year ago.
In November, the Pennettas both pled guilty to third-degree theft by deception for the fraudulent applications to Hunterdon’s Division of Social Services.
Their arrests followed a joint investigation by detectives from Kearns’ office; Office of the Inspector General-Social Security Administration; state Division of Taxation Office of Criminal Investigation; State Police Kingwood Barracks; Hunterdon County Division of Adult Protective Services; and the Hunterdon County Department of Human Services.