Law & Justice

PC Board of Social Services Employee Charged with Unauthorized Use of Food Stamp Funds

00285a23e649c61e354b_Social_Security.jpg
00285a23e649c61e354b_Social_Security.jpg

Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes announces the arrest of Carol Austin, age 61, of Paterson, New Jersey.

Carol Austin was arrested without incident on April 21, 2017. The arrest was made by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office with the assistance of the North East Regional Office of the Inspector General for the United States Department of Agriculture. Ms. Austin was charged on the same date at the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office in Totowa with one count of second degree Impersonation/Theft of Identity in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17; one count of third degree Theft by Deception in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4; and one count of fourth degree

Unauthorized Use of Food Stamp Coupons in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-36. Second degree Impersonation/Identity Theft involves five (5) or more victims, and carries a maximum term of ten years in New Jersey State Prison. Third degree Theft by Deception ranges from $500 up to $75,000, and carries a maximum term of five years in New Jersey State Prison. Fourth degree Unauthorized Use of Food Stamp Coupons involves value of $150 or more, and carries a maximum term of eighteen months in New Jersey State Prison. The charges were placed on a summons and no bail was required to be set.

Sign Up for E-News

On or about November 2015 until February 2017, Ms. Austin allegedly used food stamp benefits contained on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards that did not belong to her and that she did not have authorization to use. She allegedly used EBT accounts of at least five (5) people and used the funds for herself in an amount exceeding $500. During the timeframe of the alleged offenses, Ms. Austin was employed as a clerk by the Passaic County Board of Social Services.

EBT cards are issued by the Passaic County Board of Social Services to low-income individuals for the purpose of assisting them in purchasing food. The program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture under the Federal Food Stamp program. Only authorized recipients are permitted to use the cards.

The investigation in this matter remains ongoing. At this time, further information will not be released so as not to jeopardize the safety of persons involved or to jeopardize the investigation in progress.

Media inquiries should be directed to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mary Catherine Ryan at mryan@passaiccountynj.org. Any inquiries as to Ms. Austin’s employment status should be directed to the Passaic County Board of Social Services.

The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office asks anyone with additional information aboutthis incident to contact us on our tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or tips@passaiccountynj.org.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_6b4720eb2ae22a6c19e7_c0b24416-c788-4c9a-bb74-e02bda6ad82d

Mon, June 18, 6:30 PM

First Bethel AME Church, Paterson

Marijuana Legalization: The Just Side of the ...

Law & Justice

Carousel_image_3f27a97645e7103f9868_flyer__courthouse_plaza_programs_2018-page-001

Tue, June 19, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Carousel_image_3f27a97645e7103f9868_flyer__courthouse_plaza_programs_2018-page-001

Tue, June 26, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Your Mental Health Deserves a Tune Up

June 8, 2018

Dear Editor:

For a long time mental illness has been "masked" with drug, alcohol, sex, and others.

The climbing rate of the act of suicide, including one in our very own backyard earlier this week, shows that we have to fight harder and collectively in reducing the stigma.

Sincerely,

Sharrieff Bugg

Stigma Free Paterson

Growing in Grace Counseling Group

Pascrell, Nadler, Congressional Colleagues Make Surprise Visit to ICE Detention Center to See Separated Families, Jail Conditions

June 18, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ – This morning, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), and Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08), Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13), and Albio Sires (D-NJ-08) arrived at the ICE Detention Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey on Father’s Day morning and demanded to see the parents of families ...

New Jersey Blood Services Declares Blood Emergency

New Jersey Blood Services/New York Blood Center (NYBC) has declared a blood emergency. The organization is asking people across New York City, the Hudson Valley, Long Island and New Jersey to donate blood to help replenish the blood supply for hospitals throughout the area.

 

In order to maintain a safe blood supply, a seven-day inventory of all blood types must be continually ...

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

June 15, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...

Bloomfield Parents Protest Board of Education Decision to add Armed Guards to All Public Schools

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Emotions ran high prior to and during tonight’s Board of Education meeting at Bloomfield High School.

Prior to the regularly scheduled meeting, about 25 parents protested outside of the main entrance with signs expressing their disapproval of the placing of armed guards in all district schools.  Several parents had megaphones, while many drivers passing by on ...

Senator Pou’s Statement on Hurricane Maria Evacuee Session

June 9, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Senator Nellie Pou (D-Paterson) released the following statement regarding the Hurricane Maria Evacuee session to be held on Monday, June 11, in Paterson:

 

I am happy that we are able to bring these types of informational sessions to the residents of Paterson and surrounding areas to ensure that Hurricane Maria evacuees are made aware of the programs available to them ...