Thursday, April 27, 2017

Public Housing Employee Admits To Pocketing Bribes From About A Dozen Low-Income Applicants For Section 8 Rent Subsidies, Allowing Them To Bypass Lottery System & Immediately Qualify For Benefits

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Fresno, California):
  • Aryca Danieyelle Williams, 38, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today [March 20] to two counts of extortion under color of official right, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

    According to court documents, Williams was a Housing Program Coordinator at the Fresno Housing Authority from 2007 through 2013. The Fresno Housing Authority is a state agency responsible for administering federal housing benefits programs, such as the Section 8 housing choice voucher program.

    To obtain housing benefits, applicants must put their names in a lottery system, which is supposed to randomly award benefits to qualified applicants. As a Housing Program Coordinator, Williams was responsible for managing the files of housing assistance applicants.

    She solicited bribe payments from housing authority applicants and promised to switch their names with the names of individuals who had been legitimately selected to receive housing benefits. In switching the names, Williams enabled the applicants to bypass the lottery system and immediately qualify to receive housing benefits.

    The bribe payments received by Williams included a $1,150 payment to her landlord and a $500 payment to her utility company. In total, Williams received bribe payments from 10 to 12 housing applicants.

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