Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty to Bribing a Federal Official and Defrauding the Federal Aviation Administration in Moses Lake, Washington
Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that the United States filed a Complaint in federal district court against All Star Property Management, LLC (All Star), a property management company located in Spokane. The United States’ Complaint alleges that All Star falsely and fraudulently claimed hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent assistance intended to benefit struggling renters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress established an Emergency Rent Assistance program to provide funds through local and tribal governments to benefit struggling renters who had fallen behind on rent due to unemployment or other hardship. In Washington, the program was known as the Treasury Rent Assistance Program (T-RAP). Under T-RAP, landlords or property management companies could apply for T-RAP federal funding for a tenant’s past due and projected unpaid rent. As a material condition of receiving federal funds, landlords were required to certify that the information included in the T-RAP application, including the rent amounts, were truthful and accurate, and to certify compliance with material T-RAP program requirements. Landlords were further required to apply any funds received for a particular tenant to that tenant’s balance.
During the relevant time period, All Star was a property management company, owned by Defendant Gieve Parker, that managed rental properties on behalf of landlords in Spokane, including several properties owned by Arlin Jordin. According to the Complaint filed today, during the relevant time period, Jordin was serving a prison sentence at the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell, Washington, for drugging and raping a tenant, but Jordan continued to own and collect income from five Spokane properties managed by All Star, for which All Star and Jordin split the rental income.
The Complaint alleges that, between 2021 and 2022, All Star and Parker falsely and fraudulently sought and obtained T-RAP relief funding for more than 30 tenants for which All Star was not eligible, and shared the proceeds with Jordin for the properties that he owned. According to the Complaint, All Star and Parker violated the False Claims Act by falsely certifying that tenants had past-due rent when Parker and All Star knew that the tenants were not behind on rent. The Complaint also alleges that All Star and Parker knowingly claimed falsely inflated rent amounts that were higher than tenants’ actual rent. The Complaint further alleges that All Star and Parker fraudulently represented that T-RAP assistance was needed for tenants when Parker and All Star knew that the tenants were, in fact, consistently paying rent, either on the tenants’ own or through a charitable organization or government program. Further, the Complaint alleges that All Star and Parker falsely represented that the tenants were still residing at the residence when Parker and All Star knew that the tenants were no longer residents and therefore All Star was not eligible to receive any rental assistance. Finally, the Complaint alleges that All Star and Parker falsely and fraudulently represented that T-RAP funds would be used as rental assistance for tenants, when Parker and All Star knew that T-RAP were not being used as rent assistance, and in many cases the tenants did not even need rent assistance, resulting in Paker and All Star at times collecting double and even triple rent for the same tenant for the same month.
The Complaint alleges that All Star and Parker’s false and fraudulent T-RAP claims led them to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in T-RAP funding for which they were not eligible. The Complaint also alleged that, as a result of the fraud, Jordin received T-RAP funds for which he was not eligible when All Star and Parker paid him a portion of the fraudulently-obtained funds.
“Building safer and stronger communities in Eastern Washington requires that residents have access to safe, secure, and affordable housing,” said U.S. Attorney Waldref. “Landlords and property management companies need to play by the rules, especially when they claim precious and limited rent assistance funds intended to protect members of the community struggling under the weight of a deadly pandemic. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who abuse critically-important housing support programs.”
This case was originally brought by the Northwest Justice Project, Washington’s largest legal aid organization, on behalf of Krystal Jeffries, a former tenant in a property owned by Jordin and managed by All Star. Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers may file an action under seal in federal court. The United States investigates the allegations and determines whether to intervene in the action. Under the False Claims Act, the United States may recover up to three times the damages caused by the Defendant, plus additional penalties for each false claim or statement. If the United States obtains a recovery, the whistleblower is generally able to share in a portion of the recovery. Over the past decade, False Claims Act recoveries in the Eastern District of Washington have exceeded $400 million.
Assistant United States Attorneys Tyler Tornabene, Jake Brooks, and Dan Fruchter are prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Spokane Resident Office.
The complain can be found here:
The claims articulated in the Complaint are allegations only; at this time there has been no determination of liability.
Case No. 2:22-cv-00067-MKD
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