Law & Justice

Linden Contractor Admits to Stealing

LINDEN, NJ – A Linden, New Jersey, man admitted conspiring with officials at the Paterson Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) and the Jersey City Childhood Development Centers Inc. (JCCDC) to fraudulently obtain payments for services he never provided, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Carnell Baskerville, 51, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares to an information charging him intentionally conspiring with a former commissioner with the Paterson MUA to commit extortion under color of official right and conspiring with Robert E. Mays, the former Executive Director of the JCCDC, to embezzle and obtain by fraud funds that were under the care and control of the JCCDC, an organization that received more than $10,000 in federal program benefits annually.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Sign Up for E-News

Baskerville was a self-employed contractor based in Linden who provided contracting services for both residential homes and commercial businesses. Around 2014, Baskerville became acquainted with an individual identified in the information as “Coconspirator 1,”who was then a commissioner with the since-dissolved Paterson MUA, which had been created to manage the hydroelectric plant on the Passaic River and care for certain surrounding properties.

Baskerville and Coconspirator 1 entered into an agreement whereby Coconspirator 1, who exercised control over Paterson MUA finances, would approve payments from the Paterson MUA to Baskerville’s company for services rendered, even though both Baskerville and Coconspirator 1 knew that Baskerville had not and would not perform those services.

Between December 2014 and May 2015, Coconspirator 1 wrote a series of Paterson MUA checks totaling $146,500 to Baskerville’s company. Baskerville deposited these checks in his bank account and kicked back a significant percentage in cash to Coconspirator 1 to reward him for his official assistance in carrying out the scheme.

Baskerville entered into a similar scheme with Mays, the Executive Director of the JCCDC, which operated as a non-profit organization created to serve impoverished and disabled children in Jersey City. In February 2014, Baskerville and Mays entered into a purported contract for Baskerville to provide kitchen renovation work on behalf of JCCDC, knowing full well that Baskerville had not and would not perform those services.

In late February 2014, Mays issued a JCCDC check in the amount of $29,675 to Baskerville. Baskerville and Mays met at a check cashing business in Jersey City where they cashed the check and split the proceeds between them.

The count of conspiracy to commit extortion by color of official right carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The count of conspiracy to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal benefits carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As part of his plea, Baskerville must pay restitution in the amount of $176,175. Sentencing is scheduled for May 16, 2018.

Mays pleaded guilty to wire fraud on June 7, 2016 before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton. On July 31, 2017, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $257,418.20.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Wed, February 21, 7:15 PM

Linden Public Library, Linden

The Jazz Project hosted by the Friends of the ...

Community Calendar

Fri, February 23, 8:30 AM

Honor Ridge Academy, Clark

Workshop for Parents & Educators: Reducing ...

Education Giving Back

Tue, March 13, 9:30 AM

Congregation Beth Israel , Scotch Plains

Crisis listening line volunteer listening and ...

Education Giving Back Health & Wellness

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Rep. Payne, Jr. Issues Statement on Parkland, Florida, School Shooting

February 15, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) released the following statement:

“To the families who lost loved ones during a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, today, know that your country’s compassion and thoughts go out to you. Our hearts break with yours.

“To those injured, know that the American people are praying your recovery.

“To the ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

Letter to the Editor: Team Nick

February 16, 2018

Dear Editor:

I am an elected Scotch Plains Democratic Committeewoman and a community activist who is in the practice of speaking up for myself, so I am very disappointed by the actions of acting Union County Democratic Chair Colleen Mahr.

I have endorsed Senator Nick Scutari for Union County Democratic Chair. So, you can imagine my surprise when I found that Ms. Mahr had sent a ...