HUD issues warrants - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

HUD issues warrants

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Dozens of Georgians are arrested for housing fraud. The county with the most serious problem is Dougherty. 

 The GBI teamed up with the Department of Housing and Urban Development for 'Operation Clean House.'  Investigators went looking for 80 people they say lied to get government help, keeping people who legitimately qualified for assistance off the housing list.

Eighteen of those suspects live in Dougherty County; twice as many as any other county.  So far deputies helped round up 11 of those 18 suspected violators in Dougherty County including one from a house on Buck Lane. More than 2,500 Section 8 vouchers are handed out in southwest Georgia through the Department of Community Affairs and there's a waiting list 400 people long of those eligible and looking to get help.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has zero tolerance for fraud. Investigators say 80 people fraudulently obtained federal money for affordable housing in Georgia. They used the GBI and local Sheriff's deputies to round up offenders in Dougherty and 11 other southwest Georgia counties.

"They asked us to take the warrants and then assist them in making the state arrests which is what ourselves and the Dougherty County Sheriff's office did," said GBI Special Agent Mike Lewis.

Warrants were issued in Operation Clean House in Colquitt, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Lee, Lowndes, Miller, Mitchell, Randolph, Seminole, Terrell, and Thomas Counties.

"The allegations are these individuals have engaged in mortgage fraud. The general allegation being that they obtained HUD mortgages and that they had instances where they were getting additional income and never reported it," said Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards.

The fraud involved more than $1.1 million which is money that could be ordered to be repaid through the prosecution of those arrested. HUD officials say they have a responsibility to ensure that federal funds for the Section 8 program go to those truly in need.

"You're defrauding the government which is the taxpayers; you and I, and just as importantly taking advantage of relief someone else could get, that they're not able to get because you fraudulently got it yourself," said Lewis.

The housing choice voucher program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low income families, the elderly, and the disabled so they can afford decent safe housing in the private market.

Investigators told me they had a difficult time finding violators to arrest them today, some had several addresses, that deputies had to check before they could be arrested.

  • The GBI announced they have arrested 54 of the 80 suspects in the crackdown:

County

Name

Address

City

Arrested

Bartow

Denetria Davis

18 Briarwood Lane

Cartersville

1

Catoosa

Leslie Hinton

1202 Oglethorpe Ridge Lane

Ft. Oglethorpe

1

Spalding

Zanina Berry

504 Crossings Place

Griffin

1

Carroll

Angela Davis

209 E Wilson Street Apt. 88

Villa Rica

1

Coweta

Rafael Fernandez

17 Sunset Ridge Way

Newnan

1

Spalding

Cheryld D. Johnson

1105 Jackson Rd Apt D

Griffin

1

Carroll

Dafanie Watkins

816 N Aycock Street

Carrollton

1

Fayette

Rachel Fedd

151 Wynnmeade Parkway

Peachtree City

1

Lee

Misty Martin

140 Apache Street

Leesburg

1

Lee

Stephanie Ammons

151 Endoline Drive Apt B

Leesburg

1

Burke

Tashawn Scott

409 Leonard Circle

Waynesboro

1

Richmond

Joyce Baker

2408 Sedgefield Dr

Augusta

1

Richmond

Shanta Gilyard

1025 Woodsedge Drive, Apt H

Augusta

1

Richmond

Artis Overstreet

3617 Rolling Meadows Drive

Augusta

1

Jefferson

Diana Hannah

2501 Ga Hwy 17 N

Wrens

1

Richmond

Katrima Smalley

2579 Anthony Dejuan Pkwy

Hephzibah

1

Richmond

Tilvosiet Ryans

3109 Norcom Lane

Augusta

1

Richmond

Latonya Hunt

3639 Elliott Blvd

Augusta

1

Thomas

Casandra McCree

100 Cleo Court

Thomasville

1

Lowndes

Bridgette James

1906 Northside Drive

Valdosta

1

Mitchell

Robyn Mccune

3001 Bumble Bee Road

Pelham

1

Colquitt

Traunshey Huckaby

530 Edmondson Road

Moultrie

1

Mitchell

Ernestine Burden

160 Upson Street NE Apt A

Pelham

1

Mitchell

Babette Willingham

476 E Railroad Street NE Apt D3

Pelham

1

Seminole

Deshuntra Smith

410 W 7th Street

Donalsonville

1

Seminole

Kimbala Jones

810 E Carr Street

Donalsonville

1

Mitchell

Margaret Hill

5016 McNair Road

Camilla

1

Mitchell

Dorothy Cooper

196 Upson Street NE

Pelham

1

Mitchell

Joann Hicks

199 West Circle

Camilla

1

Henry

Essence Patrick

131 H Grier Drive

McDonough

1

Newton

Maureen Francois

65 Joe Ewing Drive

Covington

1

Rockdale

Sherron Hodge

438 Greenleaf Rd

Conyers

1

Dekalb

Sylvia Benton (Soumano)

1009 Arbor Crossing Dr

Lithonia

1

Newton

Lamonitrias Smith

175 Riverbend Drive

Covington

1

Rockdale

Safiyyah Bowman

2110 B Fairway Court

Conyers

1

Rockdale

Amina Richey

3367 Salem Cove Trail

Conyers

1

Clarke

Lillie Benton

145 Zetella Lane

Athens

1

Walton

Debra Durham

408 E Marable Street

Monroe

1

Emanuel

Tamakia Johnson

1219 King Circle Drive

Swainsboro

1

Houston

Larzania Adkinson

419 Gordy Street

Perry

1

Houston

Sheila Draughorne

239 Johns Road

W. Robins

1

Houston

Dwana Colman

607 South 2nd Street

W. Robins

1

Dougherty

Sonya Green

1608 W Gordon Ave

Albany

1

Dougherty

Carol Johnson

1603 Malone Drive

Albany

1

Dougherty

Linda Hayes

1706 Jean Ave

Albany

1

Dougherty

Shameka Thomas

1213 Firestone Drive

Albany

1

Dougherty

Leshundra King

2514 Habersham Road

Albany

1

Dougherty

Roderick Thomas

1970 Riverview Circle South

Albany

1

Terrell

Monica Johnson

735 Flint Street NE

Dawson

1

Dougherty

Todra Mcghee

2607 Cardinal Street #22

Albany

1

Dougherty

Janice Bell

1316 E Tift Ave

Albany

1

Dougherty

Monica Irby

421 S. Westover Blvd #51

Albany

1

Dougherty

Porshia Wright

1925 Buck Lane #A

Albany

1

Early

Alecia Epps

166 Day Street

Blakely

1

 

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