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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 12, 2014

Former Chelsea Housing Authority Executive Pleads Guilty

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BOSTON – The former Executive Director of Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA) pleaded guilty today for rigging the inspection process for federally-funded housing units at the CHA.

Michael McLaughlin, 68, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to conspiring to defraud the United States. In October 2013, McLaughlin was indicted along with two co-defendants who are pending trial. Sentencing is scheduled for June 20, 2014 at 2:30 p.m.

From 2000 until November 2011, McLaughlin was the Executive Director of the Chelsea Housing Authority, which managed three federal housing developments funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and contained approximately 350 units. Between 2007 and 2011, McLaughlin conspired with his co-defendants to defeat the purpose and efficacy of HUD inspections of the Chelsea Housing Authority's living spaces. They did this by obtaining in advance the list of units that HUD was going to inspect, enabling the housing authority to focus on repairing those units and to deceive the HUD inspectors about the integrity of the unit inspection.

In July 2013, McLaughlin was sentenced to 36 months in prison for falsely reporting his salary in annual budgets required by HUD.

McLaughlin pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States. If the Court accepts McLaughlin’s guilty plea, he will be sentenced to one year in prison, to be served consecutively with the prison term he is currently serving, and a $3,000 fine.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Regional Office, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by S. Theodore Merritt of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit and Brian Pérez-Daple of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.