Former Elizabeth School Attendance Officer Admits Defrauding Board of Education
NEWARK, NJ—A former attendance liaison officer for the Elizabeth (New Jersey) Board of Education (EBOE) today admitted obtaining by fraud more than $5,000 by working a second job during hours when he was supposed to be tracking down truant students, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Scott J. Farley, 45, of Cranford, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an information charging him embezzling and converting to his own use more than $5,000 of money in the control and custody of the EBOE.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Farley worked for the EBOE at an annual salary of $40,499 and $42,825 for school years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, respectively. As an attendance liaison officer, he was expected to perform his duties during the school day, which lasted from approximately 8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., by conducting home visits relating to excessive school absences by students. During this time, Farley worked in the shipping and receiving department of a private corporation based in Mountainside, New Jersey.
Time sheets from the corporation revealed Farley worked there during many hours when he was supposed to be working as a truant officer. Farley admitted working at the corporation during school hours on at least 100 days for both school years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. He also admitted that during school year 2009-2010, he worked full days on approximately seven days at the corporation’s Tampa facility when the Elizabeth schools were in session and he was being paid to perform his work as a truant officer. In total, over the course of the two school years, Farley logged more than 250 hours at the corporation’s facilities during hours when he was being paid to perform duties on behalf of the EBOE.
The charge to which Farley pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $125,000 fine. As part of his plea agreement, Farley agreed to pay $22,065 in restitution to the Elizabeth Board of Education, reflecting the hours for which he was being paid to perform his duties as an attendance liaison officer but was actually working for the corporation. Sentencing is scheduled for August 6, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, and investigators with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Grace Park, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. McCarren of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark and Assistant Prosecutor Robert Vanderstreet with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.
Defense counsel: Timothy R. Smith and Wolodymyr Tyshchenko Esqs., Fairfield, N.J.