US Attorney Reports Arrest In Section 8 Housing Fraud Case

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, and ROSE GILL HEARN, the
Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation
(“DOI”), announced the arrest today of CAROL CUMBERBATCH, 42, for
defrauding the federal Section 8 housing program of over $17,000
in housing subsidies. CUMBERBATCH, who owns a Section 8 unit in
the Bronx, fraudulently received Section 8 subsidies payments for
two years.

According to the Complaint filed in Manhattan federal

The Section 8 rental assistance program (“Section 8
Program”) is a government program — funded and regulated by the
Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) — intended
to help low-income families to afford decent, safe, and sanitary
housing in the private market. Specifically, HUD pays subsidies,
typically in the form of vouchers, for people to live in private
housing of the tenant’s choosing, provided that the housing fits
the requirements of the Section 8 Program. HUD then sends funds
to Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”) in New York,
which, in turn, pays the Section 8 housing subsidy directly to
the landlord where the participating tenant lives. HUD
regulations require that, in order to receive Section 8 housing
subsidy payments, a Section 8 landlord must periodically certify
that a Section 8 tenant does, in fact, lease and occupy the
Section 8 contract housing unit.

CUMBERBATCH, as the landlord of the property she owned
in the Bronx, evicted a qualified Section 8 tenant from the unit
in the fall of 2002. Despite that, CUMBERBATCH submitted
documentation to HPD falsely certifying that a Section 8 tenant
remained in the unit. She thus continued to collect
approximately $17,664 in Section 8 housing subsidies payments
from December 2002 through October 2004.

CUMBERBATCH, a resident of Manhattan, is charged with
one count of theft of government funds. She was presented
earlier today before United States Magistrate Judge MICHAEL H.
DOLLINGER. If convicted, CUMBERBATCH faces a sentence of up to
10 years’ imprisonment.

Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative efforts of DOI’s
Office of the Inspector General for HPD.
Assistant United States Attorney KENNETH POLITE is in
charge of this prosecution.

The charge contained in the Complaint is merely an
accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.

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