50 accused of rent fraud - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

50 accused of rent fraud

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Thomasville woman celebrates 100th Birthday

    Thomasville woman celebrates 100th Birthday

    Sunday, April 20 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-04-20 21:57:34 GMT
    A Thomasville woman is celebrating her 100th birthday. Irene Manning celebrates her 100th Birthday today. Friends and family threw her a birthday party at Cherokee Lake in Thomasville. Her grandson saysMore >>
    A Thomasville woman is celebrating her 100th birthday. Irene Manning celebrates her 100th Birthday today. Friends and family threw her a birthday party at Cherokee Lake in Thomasville. Her grandson saysMore >>
  • Easter Bunny visits hospitalized children

    Easter Bunny visits hospitalized children

    Sunday, April 20 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-04-20 21:52:00 GMT
    The Easter Bunny made an appearance at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital today.   The Dougherty County Police Department partnered with the Easter Bunny Foundation to deliver stuffed Easter Bunnies to childrenMore >>
    The Easter Bunny made an appearance at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital today.   The Dougherty County Police Department partnered with the Easter Bunny Foundation to deliver stuffed Easter Bunnies to childrenMore >>
  • Storm clean up is underway at wildlife rehabilitation center

    Storm clean up is underway at wildlife rehabilitation center

    Sunday, April 20 2014 5:46 PM EDT2014-04-20 21:46:45 GMT
    Storm Clean up is underway at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Thomasville.   Sierra Dorpinghouse is all geared up and ready to help with clean up after Friday's storm damaged several animal cagesMore >>
    Storm Clean up is underway at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Thomasville.   Sierra Dorpinghouse is all geared up and ready to help with clean up after Friday's storm damaged several animal cagesMore >>

August 9, 2006

Albany --  Dougherty Countians accused of defrauding the state are given a chance to settle up. These people are given the chance to pay back the state instead of facing criminal charges. People accused of rent subsidy fraud were called to a Dougherty County courtroom today.   

They were given the chance to admit to abusing the state's assistance program, and paying back the money, or possibly facing criminal charges. Most of the accused took the state's offer.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs called 50 people accused of rental assistance fraud to the Courthouse.  About 35 showed up, because they were warned that this was their chance to avoid criminal charges.

Assistant District Attorney Victoria Darrisaw said "If they agree they owe the money, just repay it, and then we don't have to get the criminal involvement."

Many of the people tried to hide their faces from the camera, but most signed papers admitting to defrauding the rental assistance program, and signed agreements to pay the money back.

Department of Community Affairs Regional Compliance Officer Antonio Qualls said "We don't want to prosecute.  We don't want to go through the civil and legal things. We want to try to work with our tenants."

D.C.A. officials say millions of dollars are taken by people not qualified to receive rental assistance in Georgia each year.  They estimate that five percent of Dougherty County's 3,200 voucher recipients are in violation of their agreement, and the state wants the fraud stopped.

"We hope that we don't have a big problem, and we want to nip it in the bud before it gets big. And that's another reason for today," Qualls said.

Qualls says most of the violations admitted to by these people were failure to report increased income, or having other people move into the household.  The people who signed the fraud agreements are booted out of the state's program, and can not receive rent or utility subsidies again. 

 If they are prosecuted, they could be charged with theft by deception, and face a ten year prison sentence if convicted.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=VoucherSweep/JW

 

Powered by WorldNow