Former President of Hartford Nonprofit Who Stole from HUD Program is Sentenced
John H. Durham. United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that STEVEN F. HARVIN, 54, of New Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to three years of probation, the first 60 days of which Harvin must serve in home confinement, for stealing from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) program. Judge Shea also ordered Harvin to perform 50 hours of community service.
According to court documents and statements made in court, the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (“HOPWA”) Program is a HUD program dedicated to the housing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. Under the HOPWA Program, HUD makes grants to local communities, states and nonprofit organizations for projects that benefit low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. HUD is also responsible for administering the Section 8 housing program, which provides federally subsidized housing to low income tenants.
From approximately August 2015 to September 2016, Harvin served as President of Zezzo House, a non-profit organization in Hartford that provides housing for individuals and families with health challenges, including HIV/AIDS. HUD provides HOPWA funds to the City of Hartford, which in turn provides the HOPWA funds to organizations in the Hartford area, including Zezzo House. Between January and August 2016, Zezzo House received $70,722 in HOPWA funds. Harvin embezzled some of these funds through cash withdrawals, spent some of the funds on ineligible Zezzo House expenses, and he failed to account for the use of other funds.
Zezzo House also receives Section 8 funding and, during this time period, Harvin diverted funds from rent checks from Section 8 tenants to his personal use.
In total, Harvin misappropriated approximately $32,854 in HOPWA and Section 8 funds.
This matter was investigated by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, and the Hartford Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj N. Patel.