Ten Defendants Defrauded HUD by Securing Rent Reductions for Two Separate Housing Units at the Same Time
SAN FRANCISCO — LAWFUEL – Law Jobs & Law News Daily – United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that Christine Carpenter pleaded guilty on September 13, 2006 to defrauding the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Ms. Carpenter, along with nine other defendants, Pilar Fontenot, Celestine Gallegos, Rossie Hawkins, Donna James, Ranina Jones, Louvene Reed, Anthony Travis, Sheila Whittenberg, and Lyris Wolfe, were charged by complaint on July 12, 2005 with making false statements to HUD. All individuals, including Ms. Carpenter, have now pleaded guilty to defrauding HUD in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1012, and have agreed to pay restitution for the losses they caused. These guilty pleas are the result of an investigation by the HUD Office of Inspector General.
The complaints alleged that each of these ten individuals were living in public housing in San Francisco. While living in public housing and receiving subsidies from the San Francisco Housing Authority, these individuals applied for and received Section 8 subsidies from the Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo. All were receiving both subsidies at the same time, until their fraud was discovered. In pleading guilty to defrauding HUD, Ms. Carpenter and the other nine defendants admitted that they knowingly received rent reductions from HUD for two separate housing units intending to defraud HUD, and knowing that they were only allowed to receive such rebates for one unit at a time.
Law-abiding individuals currently applying for subsidies at these Housing Authorities must put their names on waiting lists lasting as long as five to ten years.
HUD Inspector General Kenneth Donohue, sees his agency’s partnership in San Francisco and San Mateo as an opportunity to use federal expertise to ensure the integrity of public housing and to provide a fair and just system to allocate scarce public housing resources.
The sentencing of Ms. Carpenter is scheduled for December 11, 2006, before Magistrate Judge Bernard Zimmerman in San Francisco. The maximum statutory penalty for defrauding HUD is one year in jail, a fine of $100,000, 1 year of supervised release, and a $25 mandatory assessment. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Robert David Rees is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting this case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.
Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.plhttps://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/.
Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at [email protected]