FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2010
JURY VERDICT: FEDERAL EXEC WITH $129,000 SALARY FALSIFIED TIME AND ATTENDANCE REPORTS TO BE PAID FOR HOURS NOT WORKED
KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A $129,000-a-year executive at the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s office in Kansas City, Kan., has been convicted on charges of taking pay for hours he did not work, U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch said today.
A jury found Herman S. Ransom, 53, Olathe, guilty on 10 counts of wire fraud and 10 counts of theft of public funds. During a trial in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., prosecutors presented evidence that between September 10, 2001, and continuing to on or about May 19, 2007, Ransom turned in reports claiming to have worked 40 hours a week when in fact he was absent from the office on some days during business hours, gambling or playing tennis without taking approved leave.
Beginning in 1998, Ransom served as Hub Director of HUD’s office in Kansas City, Kan., supervising approximately 89 employees in Kansas City, Kansas, St. Louis, Des Moines, Omaha, Tulsa and Oklahoma City. His duties included overseeing the Office of Multifamily Housing for Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Oklahoma. His office administered federal programs including FHA insured loans, Section 202/811 housing for elderly and disabled clients, and Section 8 low income housing. As a GS-15 level supervisor, Ransom’s working hours were set at 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Ransom certified on pay reports that he had worked 40 hours a week when in fact he knew he had taken personal time off during work hours. The false reports were sent electronically from Kansas City, Kan., to the National Finance Center in New Orleans, La., for processing and payment. Funds were transferred to his account at Mazuma Credit Union in Kansas City, Mo. As a result, Ransom collected $47,332 in pay for hours he did not work.
Sentencing is set for June 28, 2010. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count of wire fraud, and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count of theft of public money. Welch commended the Department of Housing and Urban Development - Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tris Hunt for their work on the case.