Entries in Section 8 Housing Fraud (22)

8:50PM

Seven arrested in HUD and Section 8 fund thefts

US DOJ Press Release - January 25, 2005

Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Kenneth M. Donohue, Inspector General, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Inspector General, announced today the arrests of seven (7) defendants on federal housing fraud charges and the unsealing of the Indictments charging each of the defendants.

Arrested today were defendants, Amy Willis, Missia Lee, Ronald Amira, Rhonda Sims, Sandra Love, Kandis Roberts, and Lakeisha Veargis. The defendants are separately charged in Indictments pending in the Southern District of Florida, in Miami, Florida, with multiple counts of theft of federal subsidized housing funds and providing false statements to the government, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641, and Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001, respectively. These cases are part of a nationwide effort to combat fraud and corruption in the federal Section 8 subsidized housing program. Collectively, the defendants, all participants in the Section 8 subsidized housing program, are alleged to have defrauded HUD of over $139,000 in Section 8 housing subsidy payments.

Read the full press release by clicking the link above.

11:56AM

Woman indicted by Grand Jury in Section 8 Fraud

US DOJ Press Release — December 30, 2004

Trelonda Brown , 31, Topeka, Kan., is charged with two counts of making false statements to the Topeka Housing Authority and one count of receiving $10,017 in rental subsidies to which she was not entitled.

If convicted, she faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on the charges of making false statements and up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine on the embezzlement charge.The case was investigated by Housing and Urban Development. Assistant U.S.Attorney James Brown is prosecuting. As in any criminal case, a person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.The Indictments filed merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

3:29PM

Woman indicted by Topeka Grand Jury in Sec 8 Fraud 

US DOJ Press Release — December 30, 2004

Trelonda Brown, 31 of Topeka, Kan., is charged with two counts of making false statements to the Topeka Housing Authority and one count of receiving $10,017 in rental subsidies to which she was not entitled.

If convicted, she faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on the charges of making false statements and up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine on the embezzlement charge.The case was investigated by Housing and Urban Development. Assistant U.S.Attorney James Brown is prosecuting. As in any criminal case, a person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.The Indictments filed merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

8:54PM

14 charged in HUD voucher fraud 

Daily Southtown - December 9, 2004

Fourteen people, most of them from Chicago’s South Side and south suburbs, are facing federal charges they lied about their income to obtain government housing vouchers, authorities said Wednesday.

Low-income families can receive vouchers through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher program, until recently known as Section 8. The vouchers allow those who qualify to use government money to pay a portion of their rent and utilities.

The suspects charged Wednesday allegedly lied about their income — or simply said they were unemployed — to fraudulently qualify for the voucher program.

The list included two Chicago Public Schools teachers, a county employee at Cook County Criminal Courts, and an employee of the Illinois Department of Transportation. Also charged were two people who allegedly collected vouchers to live in houses they owned — as well as a third who lived in a Wisconsin home while collecting voucher payments meant to pay for a Chicago apartment.

Kocoras noted that federal law restricts information the Internal Revenue Service can release, making it difficult for HUD to verify the employment status of the voucher applicants.

Of the 14 people charged, 12 also face civil lawsuits brought by the government in an effort to deter other would-be voucher cheats. If they lose the civil cases, those defendants could be ordered to pay three times the amount they cheated HUD out of, as well as additional fines.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office, the following people have been charged:

Muhammad Abdullah, 54, of the 1100 block of South Laflin Street, Chicago, allegedly claimed he was unemployed while he earned more than $50,000 a year as a teacher for Chicago Public Schools.

Rodon Baily, 49, of the 8100 block of South Sangamon Street, Chicago, allegedly claimed he was unemployed while he earned more than $40,000 last year.

Sovaya Chalmers, 42, of the 7700 block of South Maryland Avenue, Chicago, allegedly received housing vouchers to live in a building she owned.

Juwanna Foster, 29, of the 8900 block of South Bishop Street, Chicago, allegedly claimed she earned only $185 weekly while she made more than $40,000 last year as a teacher for Chicago Public Schools.

Evelyn Griffin, 47, of the 1500 block of State Street, Calumet City, was charged with misdemeanor theft for allegedly defrauding the voucher program of $14,000.

Michelle Lowe, 39, of the 12000 block of South Princeton Avenue, Chicago, allegedly claimed no one in her household was employed while she earned more than $30,000 annually and her husband made $40,000.

10:39PM

FDLE Agents Make Arrest in Public Assistance Fraud Investigation

FL Dept Law Enforcement Press Release - October 12, 2004


The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has arrested a Tallahassee woman for public assistance fraud.  Clara Whiteside-Curry, 54, was arrested Monday by FDLE agents following an investigation into allegations that she had made false statements in order to receive state and federal benefits. 

On numerous occasions during the past several years, Whiteside-Curry allegedly filed statements with the Department of Children and Families and the Tallahassee Housing Authority claiming to have no income or assets, thereby making her eligible for food stamps and housing assistance.  However, the investigation showed that during much of that time, she owned land in Alabama, two revenue-producing businesses and several vehicles. 

Whiteside-Curry allegedly received a total of $6,786 in public assistance funds by making false declarations. She was charged with one count of public assistance fraud and taken to the Leon County Jail under a $2,500 bond.

Also involved in the investigation was the Tallahassee Police Department and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD). FDLE’s Public Assistance Fraud program works in partnership with the Tallahassee Housing Authority to investigate fraud in Federal Housing Assistance Programs, including Public Housing and Section 8 Housing, in Tallahassee.

9:35PM

Former Iranian Nuclear Professor sought in Section 8 Fraud

The Indy Channel — 27 August, 2004

INDIANAPOLISA man who once worked in Iranian government nuclear programs is wanted on an accusation that he fraudulently obtained subsidized housing from the Hooshang Hajimoshammadi, 64, a resident alien who worked part-time as an instructor at Ivy Tech State College, faces charges of welfare fraud and theft.

“He ripped off taxpayers by $12,000 and took a place to stay away from a needy family,” Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said Friday.

Authorities said Hajimoshammadi claimed he was needy and disabled when he applied for federal housing assistance, and he lived in a subsidized housing building on Indiana Avenue. However, authorities learned he had the Ivy Tech job and was receiving Social Security benefits, and therefore was not eligible for the housing money. Brizzi’s office said Hajimoshammadi was once a professor of nuclear medicine at Tehran University in Iran and worked on some of that country’s nuclear programs.

10:08AM

DA announces convicting of 2 people in $192,000 welfare and housing fraud scam

Santa Clara County DA Press Release - February 27, 2004

The Santa Clara County District Attorney announced today that 45 year old Tuyen Cao and her husband, 46 year old Van Van Chau, both of San Jose, were sentenced for their convictions arising out of a ten year long welfare and housing fraud scam that netted the pair over $192,000.

Beginning in 1989 until 1999 Tuyen Cao was receiving cash aid, food stamps and subsidized housing on the basis that the father of her children was not residing with her and the children. She continually lied during the subject period as to who the children’s father was and conspired with her husband to conceal his true identity. During the entire episode Van Van Chau was continually employed by Kaiser Electronics and Aerospace in San Jose.

A Santa Clara County Social Services Agency worker initially referred the case to the District Attorney’s Office when he became suspicious after an adult male answered the phone during a routine call to the defendants’ home. On January 16, 2003 Superior Court Judge Richard Loftus rendered the court’s verdict finding Cao and Chau both guilty of one count each of Welfare Fraud and Grand Theft (each with excessive taking allegations) and found Cao guilty of two counts of Perjury in connection with the Fraud. Judge Loftus sentenced both Cao and Chau to 1 year in the County Jail and ordered both to fully pay restitution.

Anyone with information concerning welfare or public assistance Fraud can contact the Public Assistance Fraud Tip line at (408)635-1777.

9:12PM

Twenty-nine arrested in welfare fraud sting in county

The Landmark — November 6, 2003

Federal and state officials delivered a serious message to welfare recipients on Thursday: steal from the government and you’ll be taken down. A sting spearheaded by the U.S Housing and Urban Development (HUD) netted 29 arrests at the Englewood Apartments on Nov. 6.

According to Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd, the 29 residents of the apartment complex, located near I-29 and Waukomis Drive in Platte County, were involved in serious food stamp, Section 8 housing assistance and other types of welfare fraud.

In court papers filed by the prosecution, HUD investigators allege that residents of the Englewood Apartments engaged in a pattern of falsifying income statements so that they could receive larger living subsidies. One of the defendants allegedly defrauding the government of $5,260, a class C felony that could result in a seven year prison sentence.

The investigation began when Englewood Apartment owners, AIMCO Capital, contacted authorities with a suspected Section 8 fraud claim. Agents from HUD and the Missouri Department of Social Services then interviewed residents at 43 apartments on July 15, which ultimately culminated in the 29 arrests.

Zahnd called the operation a “tremendous, tremendous success,” and said the estimated savings based on just the fraud losses alone exceeded $87,000. “If you multiply that out over the years they were likely to have been there, the amount we’re going to be saving will be many fold,” Zahnd said.

Kenneth Donohue, inspector general for HUD, told The Landmark he personally observed the operation and intended to use the Platte County case as a model for similar efforts around the nation. Donohue, appointed to the position by President Bush in July 2001, said the federal government loses more than $2 billion per year in Section 8 fraud.