Friday, August 25, 2017

Tenant Gets Pinched For Allegedly Lying About Income, Marital Status To Illegally Score Section 8 Rent Subsidies; Investigators: Suspect Pocketed $66K+ In Housing Benefits, Feared Hubby's Criminal Record, Income Would Have Kept Her From Qualifying For The Free Money

In Olney, Maryland, WJLA-TV Channel 7 reports:
  • She claimed to be a destitute single mother of four children, but police allege it was an illegal ruse used to collect tens of thousands of dollars in government handouts.

    Sharon Douglas, 40, of Olney, is now facing criminal charges of theft between $10,000 and $100,000, theft scheme between $10,000 and $100,000 and knowingly making a false statement to collect housing assistance.

    According to Montgomery County Police, Douglas knowingly submitted inaccurate paperwork to the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County in 2014.

    Based on that application, Douglas received a housing subsidy of $1727 per month between May of 2014 and May of 2017, totaling $66,439. All of the funds, investigators say, came directly from finite taxpayer coffers.

    However in all actuality, police allege Douglas was living with her husband of nearly 11 years. The two resided in a rental townhome located along the 18200 block of Vintage River Terrace in Olney. Neighbors in that community contacted police about "perceived drug dealing and alcohol abuse" occurring in Douglas' home, court records state.

    Those complaints prompted an undercover police investigation, which further determined Douglas' husband was gainfully employed. Investigators say he works at 'Triple A Locating Services', a company which spots and marks underground utility lines such as telecommunication, gas, water, fiber, electric and sewer.

    Investigators explain that Douglas "intentionally provided false information" to the Housing Opportunities Commission because she feared her husband's criminal record and income would have precluded her from qualifying for the free money.

    Court paperwork further indicates that Douglas is also collecting a steady paycheck, having worked as a part-time "nursing assistant" in Fairfax County for the last nine months. Her exact income was not listed. It is also immediately unclear if Douglas has children.