Landlord Pays Settlement To Resolve False Claims Act Rental Housing Fraud Allegations
ATLANTA, GA - The United States Attorney's Office announced today that YINKA T. OMOLE has paid the United States $42,900 to settle allegations he fraudulently received federally funded housing assistance payments from the Atlanta Housing Authority while requiring a tenant to pay unauthorized supplemental rental payments to him.
“The federally funded Section 8 Housing program is designed to provide lower income families with affordable rental housing,” said Sally Quillian Yates. “This landlord defrauded both the federal program and a tenant when he extracted additional payments from the tenant.”
“We are in the business of providing affordable rental opportunities to lower income families. It is not only a violation of our rules, but patently offensive that any landlord would accept rent subsidy payments and then attempt to extract even more money from tenants,” said Helen R. Kanovsky, General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The civil settlement resolves a federal lawsuit filed by Lowanda C. Strickland in the Northern District of Georgia under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private citizens to bring civil actions on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery. The lawsuit alleges that between July 2007 and March 2010, YINKA T. OMOLE received payments from the Atlanta Housing Authority under the Section 8 housing assistance program for property rented to Lowanda C. Strickland and her family. The Section 8 housing assistance program is designed to provide affordable housing to lower income families. In addition to receiving those Section 8 payments, YINKA T. OMOLE required Ms. Strickland to make supplemental rental payments to him that had not been approved by the Atlanta Housing Authority. Ms. Strickland will receive a share of the settlement payment that resolves the qui tam suit that she filed with the assistance of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.
The settlement was the result of a coordinated effort among the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, and the Office of Counsel for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Yvette Comer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.