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Census Worker Sex Offender: N.J. Homeowner Recognized Frank Kuni from Registry

Frank Kuni, registered sex offender in Pennsauken, N.J. (KYW)

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS/AP)   A sex offender named Frank Kuni admitted Wednesday that he had lied on forms to get a job as a U.S. Census taker, blaming it on a series of mix-ups and his desperation to get a job.

He could face up to 16 years in federal prison, though a much shorter term is likely when he's sentenced on March 2.

Kuni's deception came to light early in May.

A Pennsauken woman at home with her toddler recognized Kuni from an online registry of sex offenders, in part because he was said to have 16 aliases, including amusing ones such as "Phanton Flam" and "Toot Flynn." She called police and Kuni was arrested.

At about the same time, the U.S. Census Bureau was on his trail after getting fingerprint results that showed he wasn't 37-year-old Jamie Shepard, as he said he was, but rather 47-year-old Frank Kuni, who was convicted in 1996 for sexually assaulting a girl and having inappropriate contact with another.

A prosecutor told U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman on Wednesday that both his lies and his criminal past were grounds for firing him from his job going door-to-door collecting data. The Pennsauken resident held the government job only a few days before he was dismissed. He's been in custody since his arrest last spring.

Kuni's guilty plea Wednesday was protracted because he wouldn't admit to everything he was accused of doing. It took Hillman some weighing before accepting the deal in which Kuni pleaded guilty to four counts out of the 13 initial charges.

At one point, the frustrated judge told Kuni, "I will not take a plea from someone who is not willing to admit all the elements of the offense."

All the counts related to lying to the government.

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