States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|April 1, 2010||
WILLIMANTIC RESIDENT ACKNOWLEDGES ILLEGALLY RECEIVING SECTION 8 HOUSING BENEFITS
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that CATALINA ORTIZ, 53, of Main Street, Willimantic, pleaded guilty yesterday, March 31, before United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven to theft of government property relating to federal housing benefits.
The Section 8 Housing Assistance Program (“Section 8”), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a federally-funded program that provides housing assistance payments to individuals who, because of their low level of income and assets, require financial assistance in order to obtain adequate housing. In pleading guilty, ORTIZ acknowledged that, in October 2002, she filed an application for Section 8 Housing benefits documenting income and assets that permitted her to receive subsidized housing benefits at the Windham Heights housing complex in Willimantic. ORTIZ moved into a unit at Windham Heights in December 2002. In yearly re-certifications of her eligibility to receive Section 8 benefits, ORTIZ acknowledged that she failed to disclose income that she received from full-time employment that began in September 2003 and continued through September 2008. The income she received from her employment would have significantly increased her monthly rent and, as a result, during this five-year period, ORTIZ illegally received approximately $35,000 in government benefits to which she was not entitled.
Judge Kravitz has scheduled sentencing for June 16, 2010, at which time ORTIZ faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
This case has been investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Deborah R. Slater.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
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