Home Sweet Fraudulent Home

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10418214 - small house and piggy bank with stacks of hundred dollar bills isolated on a white background.

New York’s Geneva Housing Authority (GHA) strives to improve the quality of life for its community’s lower income residents. The organization administers public and private housing assistance programs that promote decent, affordable and safe housing opportunities, while encouraging economic self-sufficiency. Unfortunately, one of the program’s participants took advantage of the benefits offered by the program when she lied about her living arrangements on her application. (Consequently, she pocketed almost $24,000 in government assistance she did not deserve.)

The GHA’s Section 8 program provides subsidized housing for low to moderate income families, elderly, disabled or handicapped residents. It allows them to pay a lower rental fee in their existing apartment or another dwelling they would like to occupy. The 66-year-old woman at the center of today’s case provided incorrect information about her household by neglecting to disclose she was living with her landlord and property owner. (This went on for five years.)

The woman was indicted by a grand jury and convicted on felony charges following a jury trial for fraudulently obtaining $23,412 in housing benefits from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 housing choice voucher program. She was sentenced to serve a year in jail. (What a way to spend your senior years.) The judge also ordered full restitution to be paid starting within 90 days of her release from jail. (How is she going to pay that back? Job opportunities for senior citizens are kind of limited.)

The government provides subsidized housing for those less fortunate so they can have a chance at improving their lives. It’s unfortunate when people like today’s fraudster take advantage of government funds and pocket money intended for those who truly need it. (This woman had a sweet deal for five years while living off of the government, but now she gets to pay for her illegal deeds in a “not so sweet” fortified home.)

Source:Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Ontario County woman convicted of welfare fraud gets year in jail” published by Finger Lakes Times on May 26, 2017.

CANANDAIGUA — A Bloomfield woman who fraudulently obtained nearly $24,000 in benefits from the Geneva Housing Authority was sentenced to jail Wednesday.

Ontario County Judge William Kocher sentenced Laura Hurlburt to a year in jail after she was convicted on felony charges of third-degree welfare fraud, third-degree grand larceny and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. Hurlburt was found guilty of those charges May 4 following a jury trial in county court.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.