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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 23, 2015

Former Newark City Hall Employee Sentenced to Three Years' Probation for Producing Fraudulent Birth Certificates

NEWARK, N.J. – A former Newark City Hall employee was sentenced today to three years of probation for producing fraudulent New Jersey birth certificates, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Cory Cooke, 45, of Newark, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of producing false identification documents. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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

Cooke was previously employed by the City of Newark at its Office of Vital Statistics and was responsible for issuing official New Jersey birth certificates. From August 2013 to October 2013, Cooke produced four fraudulent New Jersey birth certificates using four different individuals’ personal identifying information, which Cooke had acquired from a conspirator. After producing the fraudulent New Jersey birth certificates, Cooke gave the documents to his conspirator, who subsequently sold them.

As part of the sentence, Judge Wigenton ordered Cooke to spend six months at a residential re-entry center/halfway house and ordered 200 hours of community service.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge John P. Woods in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Jamari Buxton of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

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Defense counsel: Stephen N. Dratch Esq., Livingston, New Jersey

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Updated March 24, 2015