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PRESS RELEASE

Two Convicted in Federal Housing Fraud

Mass. Husband and Wife Swindle $33,000 from HUD



 

Boston, Mass.- A Worcester county man and woman were convicted late yesterday in federal court of conspiracy and theft of government money related to federal housing benefits.

United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan, Peter Emerzian, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General and Jeff Paula, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration, Office of Investigations - Boston Field Division, announced today that LAEL WILLIAMS, age 55, of Spencer, MA, and JAMIE AYERS, age 46, of Worcester, MA, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor to conspiracy and theft of government money related to federal housing benefits. AYERS also pleaded guilty to making false statements in applying for federal Section 8 housing benefits.

At yesterday’s plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that from December, 1999, to January, 2005, WILLIAMS and AYERS fraudulently obtained approximately $33,000 in federal Section 8 housing benefits for residences in Worcester and Ware, MA. According to the prosecutor, WILLIAMS and AYERS failed to notify the appropriate housing agencies that: (1) they were married; (2) one or both of them actually owned the residences they were living in and supposedly renting from independent landlords; and (3) they were running two businesses, Absolute Staffing and A&W Trucking, at the same time they were receiving need based housing assistance.

Judge Michael A. Ponsor scheduled sentencing for AYERS for September 3, 2008.

WILLIAMS has pled not guilty to separate charges that he committed fraud in relation to obtaining Social Security disability benefits. Judge Ponsor scheduled a trial on those charges for September 22, 2008. WILLIAMS will be sentenced for the housing fraud crimes to which he pled guilty after the disability fraud charges are resolved. WILLIAMS and AYERS each face up to 10 years imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General and the Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration, Office of Investigations - Boston Field Division. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin O’Regan in Sullivan’s Springfield Office.







SOURCE: United States Attorney's Office District of Massachusetts



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