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Couples Charged with Benefits Theft

Two Ocean County couples are among eight defendants indicted on charges of collecting about $100,000 total in New Jersey unemployment benefits while the payees were incarcerated.

(L-R) Edward T. Soto and his wife, Jessica M. Soto
(L-R) Edward T. Soto and his wife, Jessica M. Soto (NJ Office of the Attorney General)

Edward T. Soto, 34 of Bayville, and his wife Jessica M. Soto are accused of raking in $14,404 worth of benefits between September 30, 2009 and March 28, 2010, while he was serving time in the Ocean County Jail on a charge of driving while intoxicated.

Theodore Campbell, 59, of Beachwood, and his wife Diana Campbell, 57, are charged with collecting $28,392 in jobless benefits while he was also serving a DWI sentence in the Ocean County Jail, between February 5, 2009, and February 11, 2010.

Prosecutors contend that their spouses took part in falsifying certifications and collected the checks.

Indictments were delivered on May 16 and June 9, according to information from the office of acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman.

Diana Campbell (L) and her husband Theodore Campbell
Diana Campbell (L) and her husband Theodore Campbell (NJ Office of the Attorney General)

Also charged in the indictments are Nado Shaw, 34, of Southampton; Russell Garrett, 35, of Cinnaminson; and Kurt Ohlson, 52, of Sweetwater, along with his ex-wife Donna Ohlson, 48, of Mays Landing.

Each faces a third-degree count of theft by deception. If convicted, each would risk state prison terms of three to five years and fines as high as $15,000.

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