Three Sentenced for NJ Heating Assistance Fraud, Two More Await Sentencing
One family’s scheme to profit from a state program aimed at helping low-income families heat their homes is nearing its unpleasant conclusion. An administrator of New Jersey’s heating assistance program was indicted last August, along with five family members, and all pleaded guilty in February. A New Jersey court handed down sentences for three of the family members on Friday, reported a press release from the office of New Jersey attorney general Paula Dow, sentencing all to probation and restitution of stolen funds and one to up to a year in jail.
The three were relatives of Constance Campbell, who took advantage of her position as an administrator of the New Jersey Home Energy Assistance Program to secure $24,000 in benefits that her and her family did not qualify for.
The court sentenced Patsy Campbell, Constance Campbell’s sister, to three years probation. Their brother, Dennis Campbell, was sentenced to up to 364 days in jail as a condition of two years probation, while his wife, Hollyann Allen, was sentenced to three years probation. The three also share responsibility with Constance Campbell for paying back the money they received.
Two other sisters have pleaded guilty and were admitted to a Pre-Trial Intervention program on February 26. Constance Campbell will be sentenced on May 27, as will Thomas Harris, a heating oil dealer that accepted the Campbell family’s fraudulent assistance checks and gave them cash instead of oil. In Constance Campbell’s case, the state will recommend a sentence of five years in state prison and responsibility for full repayment of defrauded heating assistance funds. Harris faces up to four years in prison.