Sunday, March 27, 2016

Despite Conviction After 8-Day Jury Trial, Former Housing Authority Executive Director & Hubby Dodge Prison Time, Get 1-Year On House Arrest For Defrauding Gov't By Hiding Property Ownership Of Rental Houses, Covering Up Their Roles As Landlords While Improperly Pocketing Over $100K In Section 8 Subsidies Paid On Behalf Of Their Tenants

In Greenbelt, Maryland, The Washington Post reports:
  • A Maryland couple who failed to disclose that they owned federally subsidized rental properties, even as one of them held a county job related to public housing, was ordered to pay more than $300,000 after they were convicted of fraud in federal court.

    Carla and Raymond Carter covered up their role as landlords while Carla Carter worked as deputy director of the Prince George’s County Housing Authority, federal prosecutors said.

    In that job, Carter was not allowed to receive money from the federal government for renting out property to low-income tenants. But the Mitchellville couple had been renting properties they owned in Bowie and Capitol Heights since 2004 to tenants who used Housing Choice Vouchers to pay their rent.

    According to prosecutors, when Carter took the job in 2007, she did not stop. Instead, the couple listed someone else, who did not own the properties, as the owner on federal paperwork.

    They received more than $100,000 from the federal government, which pays rent for families with the vouchers to live in private housing, prosecutors allege.

    After they were convicted following an eight-day jury trial, the couple faced up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and money laundering. A judge instead sentenced them to three years of probation each [], including one year of home confinement, U.S. attorney’s office spokeswoman Marcia Murphy said.

    She said that Carla and Raymond Carter were each ordered to pay a fine of $100,000. And together, they were ordered to forfeit $112,355 in either property or cash.

    Their attorney, Robert Bonsib, had argued at trial that the Carters were good landlords who never cheated their needy tenants. After their conviction, he said he thought they never should have been prosecuted.

    “This is not a situation where somebody got money for services they did not provide. These folks gave the county a bang for their buck. They provided good quality housing for Section 8 tenants,” Bonsib said at the time.

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