FORMER NEW ORLEANS POLICE OFFICER, TIWANA ALEXANDER, PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO STEAL FUNDS FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS
TIWANA ALEXANDER, age 36, a resident of New Orleans, LA, and a former detective employed by the New Orleans Police Department in the Fourth District, pled guilty today to conspiracy to steal federal funds designed to assist homeless individuals, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. ALEXANDER resigned yesterday from the New Orleans Police Department.
According to the court documents, on five (5) occasions from on or about July 1, 2007 until January 1, 2008, ALEXANDER sought and received monetary assistance from House of Ruth even though she did not qualify for assistance. The House of Ruth was a non-profit organization located in New Orleans that received federal funds from HUD annually to implement the Supportive Housing Program. Once an individual or family qualified for the Program, House of Ruth used the federal funds granted to it for the Program to pay for the deposit and one to three months of rent for an apartment for the individual or family. The House of Ruth would issue checks payable to the landlords who rented the apartments to the qualified individuals or families. ALEXANDER sought assistance from a case manager at the non-profit who gave her assistance even though she was not homeless or jobless.
After August 31, 2007, when ALEXANDER purchased her own house, she continued to have the case manager give her federal funds from the House of Ruth. ALEXANDER received $2700.00 from the House of Ruth from November 1, 2007 until January 1, 2008, in the form of checks made payable in someone else’s name and who ALEXANDER knew was not her landlord. ALEXANDER knowing that she was not entitled to the funds endorsed the checks and agreed to have the checks deposited into her own bank account.
If convicted, ALEXANDER faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five (5) years, a $250,0000 fine, restitution to the House of Ruth, and three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Department of Homeland Security–Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorneys Sharan E. Lieberman, Jordan Ginsberg, and Emily Greenfield.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org