Woodbury Woman Indicted For Using Two Identities In Order To Receive HUD Tax Credits Fraudulently
MINNEAPOLIS—A federal indictment unsealed earlier today charges a 53-year-old Woodbury woman with using an alternative identity to receive, among other things, more than $18,000 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits (“LIHTC”) from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). Oluremi George was specifically charged with five counts of Social Security fraud, four counts of making false statements, and one count of passport fraud. The indictment, which was filed on July 10, 2012, was unsealed following George’s initial appearance in federal court this morning.
The indictment alleges that on four occasions between March 1, 2008, and January 14, 2011, George used the name Victoria Avoola and the Social Security number she fraudulently obtained from the Commissioner of Social Security for that name, in applications for a LIHTC unit at the Pondview Townhomes in Woodbury. Pondview is a low income housing development that provides housing assistance to its residents through the use of HUD loans and funds as well as through LIHTCs.
In order for a person to be eligible to live in one of the units, that person must make less than the federal annual tax credit income limit. However, George purportedly certified that her anticipated 2008 income would be $29,263.00, even though she knew it would be approximately $56,400.86; that her 2009 income would be $30,243.00, even though she knew it would be approximately $59,668.82; that her 2010 income would be $31,995.00, even though she knew it would be approximately $58,633.61; and her 2011 income would be $30,930, even though she knew it would be approximately $55,887.13.
In addition, on March 11, 2009, George used the Ayoola name and fraudulently obtained Social Security number on an application for a Minnesota driver’s license. And, on July 5, 2007, she submitted a passport application, claiming again to be Ayoola and once more offering the false Social Security number.
If convicted, George faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison on the passport fraud charge and five years on each of the remaining charges. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.
This case is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and its Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, HUD’s Office of Inspector General, the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, and the Minnesota State Patrol, with assistance from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin P. Johnson.
An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.