LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mike Powell, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Internal Investigations, and Robert Parker, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, announced that defendant Matthew Price II, the former Director of Housing and Economic Development for Florida City, was sentenced today to 30 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud that deprived the citizens of Florida City, Florida of his honest services. Co-defendant Jennifer Stimpson was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, to be followed by 6 months of home confinement and 3 years of supervised release, for her role in the fraud. The defendants had been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 1349, as well as substantive mail and wire fraud violations, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Sections 1341, 1343, and 1346.
During the plea hearing, Price admitted that he conspired to obtain a mortgage for Price’s personal residence when Price could not qualify for financing, using a straw purchaser who was a Florida City employee. The scheme also included efforts to use Price’s official position as Director of Housing and Economic Development to reward Stimpson and the straw purchaser for their assistance, by selling Florida City property to Stimpson’s family at a depressed Price, allowing for its re-sale at a substantial profit, and by providing affordable housing and grant money to the straw purchaser who did not qualify for those benefits. Price acknowledged funding the straw purchase of his home with funds from a contractor doing business with Florida City who was also the recipient of grant money received through Florida City.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Miami-Dade Police Department and HUD- OIG. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Rochlin and Alejandro Soto.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.