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FORMER FLORIDA CITY HOUSING DIRECTOR INDICTED ON FRAUD CHARGES

R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Robert Parker, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, and Michael Powell, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, announced today that defendants Matthew Price II, and Jennifer Stimpson, were charged with violations resulting from a long-term scheme to commit mail and wire fraud and depriving the citizens of Florida City, Florida of Price’s honest services. Price was the former Director of Housing and Economic Development for Florida City. A federal grand jury has indicted Price and Stimpson for 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.

Each defendant faces a statutory maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment for the conspiracy and each substantive count, as well as a fine, and mandatory restitution.

According to the indictment, Price and Stimpson 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. This allowed the re-sale of the property at a substantial profit, allowing Stimpson to profit. In addition, Price used his official position to help secure affordable housing and grant money for the straw purchaser, who otherwise did not qualify for those benefits. The indictment also alleges that Price funded the straw purchase of his home with funds from a contractor doing business with Florida City. Additionally, the indictment charges that Price, acting on his own, inappropriately rented Florida City affordable housing property in order to collect rental payments for his personal profit and use.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Miami-Dade Police Department HUD OIG. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Rochlin.

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.

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