Friday, August 23, 2013

Michigan housing official sentenced on bribery and fraud charges

A former employee of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority was sentenced this afternoon to a year in prison after her conviction on charges related to bribery and fraud. Angela Reed, age 42, of Detroit, pleaded guilty on November 6, 2012, to one count of conspiracy to accept bribes and make false claims to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development before U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook, Jr., who imposed sentence today.

Reed was the waiting list coordinator for the Homeless Assistance Recovery Program, a HUD program established to give homeless persons preference in the awarding of housing vouchers. Reed and other co-defendants devised a scheme to have persons on the voucher waiting list improve their chances of getting their vouchers much more quickly by creating false document so that they would receive certification even though they were not homeless. At the direction of Reed and her co-defendants, applicants made false entries in their applications. The scheme also involved the forging of signatures of employees of homeless shelters. In return, Reed received cash from the persons who fraudulently received homeless vouchers

In addition to Reed, four other persons have been convicted for their participation in this scheme.

“The defendant abused her position of trust to divert benefits intended for people who are homeless,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said. “Prosecutions like this one are necessary to ensure the integrity of programs to help those in true need.”

The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI and the HUD Office of Inspector General with the assistance of Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

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