JANICE STAVES AND JAMES YOUNGBLOOD CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING HANO
JANICE STAVES, age 55, a resident of New Orleans, and
JAMES YOUNGBLOOD, age 69, a resident of New Orleans, were charged in a bill of
information today with conspiracy to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal funds,
announced U. S. Attorney Dana Boente.
According to court documents, STAVES was employed as a Purchasing Clerk for the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) from 1992 until June 1, 2009. YOUNGLOOD also had previously worked at HANO from 1972 until 2003. Upon leaving HANO, YOUNGBLOOD formed and operated YOUNGBLOOD and YOUNGBLOOD Construction, LLC.
During the conspiracy, STAVES and YOUNGBLOOD figured out a way to embezzle money
from HANO, which receives federal funding. In 2007, STAVES and YOUNGBLOOD
discussed, telephonically and in person, that STAVES could get YOUNGBLOOD paid with
HANO funds, for doing no work, and in return, YOUNGBLOOD provided kickbacks to
STAVES. During this time frame, YOUNGBLOOD received HANO checks totaling
$661,904.11, despite having performed no work. STAVES, deposited approximately $100,448.00
in cash from YOUNGBLOOD, into accounts that she controlled. YOUNGBLOOD and
STAVES would meet at the HANO office and in parking lots of various businesses close to the
HANO office where she would receive her portion of the cash.
Procedures for requisition orders for jobs were circumvented in connection with the elaborate
scheme which allowed STAVES to generate false paperwork, which appeared legitimate,
resulting in payments to YOUNGBLOOD for work never performed and payments in advance
for work to be performed, which was never authorized and never performed at a late date. The
fraudulent purchase orders were often designated for debris removal and/or supplies, such as
If convicted, STAVES and YOUNGBLOOD face a maximum term of imprisonment of five (5)
years, as well as a fine of $250,000.00 and three (3) years of supervised release following any
term of imprisonment, as to each count. Boente reiterated that the bill of information is merely a
charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Jon Maestri.
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