Woodbury woman pleads guilty to using two identities to receive HUD tax credits fraudulently
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS—Today in federal court, a 53-year-old Woodbury woman pleaded guilty to using an alternative identity to receive, among other things, more than $18,000 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits (“LIHTC”) from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). Oluremi George specifically pleaded guilty to one count of social security fraud and one count of making false statements. She was indicted on July 10, 2012, and entered her plea before United States District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen.
In the plea agreement, George admitted that she applied for, and received, a social security card under the name Victoria Ayoola on November 19, 1996. On the application, George indicated to the Commissioner of Social Security that she had never before been issued a social security number. However, George knew she already had a social security number under the name Oluremi George, issued on November 26, 1991. Since 1996, George has used both social security numbers and identities to apply for and renew Minnesota identification cards and driver’s licenses, seek and obtain employment, and file federal and state tax returns. George also used the false identity to receive a lower monthly housing rental rate by qualifying for a LIHTC rental unit at Pondview Townhomes in Woodbury. George’s fraud has resulted in more than $18,000 in underpayments of rent since 2004.
Pondview is a low income housing development that provides housing assistance to its residents through the use of HUD loans and funds as well as through LIHTCs. To be eligible to live in one of the units, a person must make less than the federal annual tax credit income limit. In 2011, that limit for Washington County, Minnesota, was $35,280. In an effort to qualify for the subsidized housing unit, George certified that her anticipated 2011 income would be $30,930, even though she knew it would be approximately $55,887.13.
This case is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and its Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, HUD’s Office of Inspector General, the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, and the Minnesota State Patrol, with assistance from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin P. Johnson.
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