NEWARK, N.J. – A Loganville man was arraigned on Friday, April 16, 2021, on conspiracy and fraud charges after surrendering to federal authorities. The arraignment was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig.
Isaac Newton, 53, of Loganville, Ga. is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, five counts of wire fraud, two counts of mail fraud, and one count of unlawfully obtaining $5,000 or more from a federally funded local government. He appeared in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III, via videoconference, and entered a plea of not guilty. He has been released on $100,000 unsecured bond.
According to the indictment, from June 2015 to June 2016, Newton and a family member, Willis Edwards III, a public official in the City of Orange Township, NJ, enrolled in a graduate program at a university in New Jersey, duped the township into making fraudulent payments to Newton. The payments were allegedly for academic papers that Newton arranged to have written for Edwards. Edwards then allegedly plagiarized the papers, which Orange Township paid for, and passed them off as his own work.
Between December 2015 and March 2016, Newton submitted three fraudulent invoices to Orange Township in the amounts of $12,000, $16,000, and $10,000 for purported professional services and the township paid him the money. Edwards received academic papers that had been written for Edwards by Newton. On June 20, 2016, Edwards submitted to several papers that were virtually identical to the papers that he had received from Newton to several professors and asked them to grade the outstanding assignments he submitted so he wouldn’t receive a failing grade for his hard work.
On Sept. 29, 2020, Edwards was charged in a 31-count, nine of which are related to the charges contained in Newton’s indictment. Edwards case is pending trial.
Each count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud carries 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The count of unlawfully obtaining more than $5,000 from a local government receiving federal funds carries up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys J Fortier Imbert and Cari Fais of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Division.
Please note an arrest or charge does not constitute a conviction. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.