News and Press Releases

Former HUD director sentenced on fraud and bribery charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2013

St. Louis, MO - Former HUD director Lavern Charles Hester was sentenced to 18 months in prison and 2 years of supervised release.

According to court documents, Charles Hester was employed by HUD as Director of Multifamily in the St. Louis field office. He was responsible for approving and overseeing the FHA financing of multi-family properties.  In June 2007, Donald Robinson and Crevonda Cramer  purchased a HUD subsidized multi-family property known as Chevy Chase Apartments located in Mexico, MO, through a company New Beginnings Redevelopment II, LLC.  Between June 2007 and December 2008, Hester accepted $38,000 in payments from Robinson and Cramer to facilitate Hester’s approval of a $1.5 million FHA insured refinancing of the mortgage on Chevy Chase Apartments, as well as the release of construction funds associated with the rehab of Chevy Chase.

CHARLES HESTER, Florissant, MO, pled guilty last September to one felony count of conspiracy to provide and accept an illegal gratuity.  He appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge John A. Ross.

Co-defendant Donald Robinson pled guilty to related charges and was sentenced today to six months in jail, plus six months home confinement.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General.  Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Casey is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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