Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman today announced the indictment of a former senior payroll clerk for the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) for allegedly using her work computer to generate false insurance cards for herself and three others.
She also allegedly stole public assistance benefits by creating false documents to claim childcare expenses, and she allegedly used DHS equipment to create a false photo identification that she intended to use in furtherance of that scheme.
A state grand jury indicted Laquanda Tate, 38, of Trenton, on charges of official misconduct (2nd degree), pattern of official misconduct (2nd degree), false government documents (2nd degree), simulating a motor vehicle insurance identification card (3rd degree), official misconduct (3rd degree), theft by deception (3rd degree), and two counts of falsifying or tampering with records (4th degree).
The charges are the result of an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice and the Department of Human Services (DHS). Tate was terminated from her state job in April 2013 after an investigation uncovered the alleged conduct.
According to the AG’s Office, between April 2009 and December 2012, Tate used her DHS computer to generate false insurance identification cards for her personal use and for sale to three other people. It is further alleged that, in a separate scheme, Tate created false notarized letters that purportedly were signed by childcare providers which she used to claim that she incurred unreimbursed childcare expenses of $8,677 from 2010 to 2012. By including those expenses in applications to the Mercer County Board of Social Services for food stamps, Tate allegedly received an additional $3,635 in benefits to which she was not entitled. She also allegedly claimed such false expenses in applications to the State Department of Community Affairs for Section 8 rental assistance, thereby receiving more than $1,000 in added housing benefits to which she was not entitled. In addition, Tate allegedly used DHS equipment to create a false employee identification card that bore her photo but another person’s name. Tate had access to that equipment as a senior payroll clerk. Tate allegedly intended to use the photo ID card to impersonate the named individual and obtain a notarized letter that the woman had provided childcare services to Tate’s child. However, she never actually used the false photo identification card in that manner.