NEWARK, NJ- A former aid to Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-5) has pled guilty to mailing false documents, using congressional letterhead in July 2019.  Patrick Sheehan, 29 of West Milford is facing up to six months in prison, charged with unauthorized use of the seal of the United States House of Representatives, according to the United States Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Sheenan worked in Gottheimer’s Newton office as Director of Community Outreach and worked on his staff from 2018 to 2019. 

Sheenan has admitted to falsifying and mailing a series of letters. According to the U.S. Attorney, the first “purported to be from another employee of the member and contained false information regarding the member and that employee. The employee did not create, approve, or sign those letters.

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“Sheehan then falsified multiple copies of a letter on the member’s official letterhead purporting to be from the member [Gottheimer],” the U.S. Attorney said. “That letter, which the member did not create, approve, or sign, responded to the false information in the employee letters, and also contained false information.”

Sheehan plead guilty to a form of identity theft in a video conference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hammer on Friday, May 29.

The investigation involved the United States Capitol Police, the United States Postal Inspection Service and United States Attorney’s office, according to the U.S. Attorney.

In addition to a potential prison sentence, Sheehan faces a maximum of five years’ probation and a fine of $5,000.  Sentencing is scheduled for September 29, 2020.