News and Press Releases

theft from organization receiving federal funds

July 19, 2011

             United States Attorney Michael J. Moore, Middle District of Georgia announced that a federal grand jury in Macon, Georgia has charged Sherry Darlene McDaniel a/k/a Darlene McDaniel, age 43, Lance McDaniel, age 57, and Steven Wayne Williams, age 49, all residents of Thomaston, Georgia, in a thirty count Indictment charging violations of Conspiracy and Theft Concerning An Organization Receiving Federal Funds, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Sections 371, i/c/w Title 18 United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(A), Title 18 United States Code 641, Title 18 United States Code, Section 2, Title 18 United States Code, Section 981(a)(1)(C) and Title 28 United States Code, Section 2461(c).

            The indictment, returned on July 14, 2011, alleges that the defendants did knowingly and unlawfully combine, conspire, confederate, agree and have a tacit understanding with each other and others to commit offenses against the United States, including, theft from an organization receiving federal funds, theft of government money, and embezzlement of government money.  Specifically, the indictment alleges that Thomaston Housing Authority Executive Director Darlene McDaniel honored contracts with Steve Williams Painting Contractor which was actually a subterfuge for her husband, Lance McDaniel, and/or his company, Lance McDaniel Painting.  Sherry Darlene McDaniel is also charged in the indictment with embezzling and converting to her own use a Housing Authority VISA credit card.

            The charges in this indictment are the result of an investigation conducted by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General.

            Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

            Herschell Harvell, Jr., Special Agent in Charge for the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General stated, “HUD's Office of Inspector General is committed to ensuring taxpayers' dollars are put to good use and HUD programs are free from waste, fraud and abuse. Joint prosecutorial efforts by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and HUD’s Office of Inspector General send a
strong message that those who seek to unlawfully profit by defrauding programs within HUD will be vigorously prosecuted.”

United States Attorney Michael Moore said, “The public legitimately expects us to police government agencies to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.