Friday, July 21, 2017

Tenant Gets Year In Jail After Jury Conviction For Fraudulently Obtaining $23K+ In HUD Section 8 Housing Benefits, Failing To Disclose She Was Living With Her Landlord In Home She Was Purportedly Renting

In Canandaigua, New York, the Finger Lakes Times reports:
  • A Bloomfield woman who fraudulently obtained nearly $24,000 in benefits from the Geneva Housing Authority was sentenced to jail [].

    Ontario County Judge William Kocher sentenced Laura Hurlburt to a year in jail after she was convicted on felony charges of third-degree welfare fraud, third-degree grand larceny and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. Hurlburt was found guilty of those charges May 4 following a jury trial in county court.

    Assistant District Attorney Melanie Bailey said the charges stemmed from personal declarations filed by Hurlburt with the Geneva Housing Authority from 2010 to 2015 to obtain rental assistance under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 housing choice voucher program, which is administered by the authority.

    Hurlburt provided inaccurate household composition in the paperwork, failing to disclose she was living with the landlord and owner of the property. As a result, she was indicted by a grand jury and convicted of getting $23,912 in benefits she was not entitled to.

    The investigation leading to her arrest was done by Geneva Housing Authority staff, the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office.

    In addition to the jail time, Kocher entered a civil judgment in favor of the authority for the full amount of illegal benefits. Restitution payments through the county probation department are to begin within 90 days of Hurlburt’s release from jail.