Cuyahoga County

Tenants and landlords indicted for $1.2M voucher fraud


Tenants and landlords who defrauded the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), for more than $1.2 million were indicted last week, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced.

On December 12 and December 15, the Grand Jury voted the charges of Fraud and Tampering with Records against 52 defendants in 32 cases.

The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Investigative Unit, The Office of Inspector General for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation earlier this year and found the tenants lied on their applications and re-certifications, such as not reporting unauthorized occupancy or not disclosing a felony conviction.

In other cases, the landlords committed fraud by covering up violations by their tenants or living in their own property that was subsidized by the program.

“The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, applauds its partnership with local law enforcement and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office in its continued efforts to pursue those individuals who defraud our programs and jeopardize the benefits of those who are most needy,” Brad Geary, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Housing Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General in Chicago, said after the indictments were issued.

The HCVP, formerly known as Section 8, has strict qualifying guidelines that are very clear to both tenants and landlords.

“The CMHA Police Department will remain aggressive in identifying and prosecuting individuals that commit fraud. We will continue to collaborate with our partners to expose this illegal activity,” said CMHA Police Chief Andy Gonzalez.

“CMHA has made it a priority to ensure program compliance from not only
residents but owners participating in the program.”

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, CMHA PD Special Investigations Unit, and HUD’s Office of the Inspector General have a strong partnership prosecuting fraud against the federally subsidized housing system in this county.

“Individuals taking advantage of, or outright exploiting this system, landlords and tenants alike, should know when we find out about you, we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney J.D. May.

Contact: Joseph Frolik, Director of Communications and Public Policy. Phone: (216) 443-7488 or
Cell: (216) 640-6186