A Loganville man pleaded not guilty to federal charges that came from an alleged academic fraud scheme in New Jersey.

Isaac Newton, 53, faced a U.S. magistrate judge in Newark, New Jersey, for arraignment April 16.

A grand jury indicted Newton on 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 obtaining $5,000 or more from a federally funded local government.

The indictment claims Newton was working as a consultant with a family member in a graduate program in a New Jersey university along with Willis Edwards III, an official in Orange Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutors said that between 2015-16, Newton and Edwards conspired to dupe the town into paying Newton in part for academic papers Newton arranged to have written for Edwards.

Edwards allegedly plagiarized the papers that Orange paid for and passed off to his instructors as his own work.

Newton allegedly submitted three fraudulent invoices to Orange totaling $38,000 for purported professional services. The town paid the money to Newton, and Edwards received academic papers written for him.

On June 20, 2016, Edwards turned in work that was virtually identical to the papers he’d received from Newton.

Edwards, who now lives in Lithonia, was indicted in September 2020 on charges of corruption, fraud, conspiracy, wire fraud and taking kickbacks.

Edwards allegedly solicited and accepted about $20,000 in cash from the owner of a computer consulting business in exchange for the company receiving a $350,000 emergency contract to install a networking system at the town’s municipal complex.

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