Newark City Hall clerk Cory Cooke arrested over fraudulent birth certificates

According to a special agent, Cook knew that the fraudulent birth certificates he created were going to be used to obtain U.S. passports for travel overseas. (3/21/14)

NEWARK - A Newark city clerk has been arrested by the Department of Homeland Security for allegedly selling fraudulent birth certificates from the city's Office of Vital Statistics.

Cory Cooke, 44, of Newark, was arrested Wednesday. Cooke has been a clerk with the Office of Vital Statistics since 2005.

According to a special agent, Cook knew that the fraudulent birth certificates he created were going to be used to obtain U.S. passports for travel overseas.

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The complaint alleges that this happened at city hall at least four times between August and October of 2013.

In each case the same unidentified individual allegedly provided Cook with a stolen Social Security card. Cook would use that information to produce the fraudulent birth certificate. On three occasions the individual sold the fakes for $2,500 each.

It's unclear if any of that money went to Cooke, but Cooke was quoted in the complaint as saying during an October meeting that he needed to be paid. The meeting was recorded by investigators.

Cooke appeared in federal court Thursday morning and has been released on a $50,000 bond.

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