FLEMINGTON, NJ – A Pittstown couple have pled guilty to theft and agreed to reimburse Hunterdon County Social Services $70,000 .
Christopher and Catherine Pennetta were arrested in October last year after an eight month investigation.
The pair submitted “misleading applications” for social services and Social Security benefits dating back to March of 2014, according to a press release issued by Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III.
The Panettas also failed to file and pay income taxes in 2014 and 2015, Kearns said.
In a plea agreement, the Panettas agreed to the restitution and pled guilty to theft by deception, a third-degree crime. They were also found to be operating a home improvement business without the proper registration in 2015 and 2016, according to Kearns.
The pair entered the plea on Nov. 29 before Judge Angela F. Borkowski. The indictments were handed down by a Hunterdon Grand Jury in March and they will be sentenced in February.
The arrests followed a joint investigation by detectives from Kearn's 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.