Thursday, April 27, 2017

Housing Authority Employee Pleads Guilty To Pilfering $91K From HUD Program That Assists Low Income Tenants Obtain Employment, Get Off Welfare Assistance

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Portland, Maine):
  • Acting United States Attorney Richard W. Murphy announced that Jamie Hussey, 35, of Gorham, Maine, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to committing federal program fraud.

    Court records show that between February 2014 and September 2016, the defendant embezzled over $91,577 from the South Portland Housing Authority (SPHA), an agency that that administers public housing units and that receives federal benefits each year under programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”).

    The defendant was employed as the SPHA Resident Services Coordinator for the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS), a program that promotes the development of local strategies to coordinate public and private resources that help public housing tenants obtain employment that will enable participating families to achieve economic independence. Under this program, a participant can earn monetary credits that are placed in an escrow account based upon the participant meeting certain goals. Upon successfully completing a FSS contract, a participant may claim funds in their escrow account if no family member is receiving welfare assistance.

    The defendant caused 48 checks to be issued in the names of FSS program participants and deposited into her personal bank account. None of the participants ever requested these checks, nor received any proceeds of the checks.

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