Former Worcester Housing Official Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison for $2.3 Million Property Development Fraud Scheme
BOSTON – A former employee of the City of Worcester’s Housing Development Office and Executive Office of Economic Development was sentenced today in federal court in Worcester for her role in a $2.3 million fraud scheme relating to the redevelopment of a multi-family property in Worcester.
Jacklyn M. Sutcivni, 48, of Dracut, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 40 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Sutcivni was also ordered to pay restitution in an amount that will be determined at a hearing on May 19, 2022. On Aug. 4, 2021, Sutcivni was convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and false claims.
In August 2016, Sutcivni was indicted along with James E. Levin, a Natick real estate developer and attorney. Levin pleaded guilty in September 2020 and was sentenced on March 30, 2021 to 37 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $1,955,000.
“This fraud is not a victimless crime – the Worcester community and its families deserve and are entitled to city employees that do their jobs with integrity,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “Jacklyn Sutcivni repeatedly chose to dishonor her public office and the good people of Worcester who placed their trust in her. Today’s sentence reinforces our steady resolve to investigate public officials who abuse their positions and hold them accountable for breaching the public’s trust.”
“Today, Jacklyn Sutcivni was finally held accountable for using her official position for financial gain at the expense of hard-working taxpayers in the city of Worcester, particularly those in need of safe and affordable housing,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “She grossly betrayed the public’s trust, failed to take responsibility for her actions, and eroded confidence in city government. This case is just one example of the FBI’s commitment to rooting out public corruption in order to protect the integrity of the institutions that are supposed to serve the best interests of our citizens.”
The City of Worcester distributes grant funds on behalf of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Sutcivni, as part of her job with the City of Worcester’s Housing Development Office, was responsible for reviewing payment requests for HUD grant funds. From July 2010 to September 2011, Sutcivni approved seven fraudulent HUD grant funding requests submitted by Levin for work he falsely claimed to have completed on a building he managed and associated costs. Sutcivni approved the payment requests despite knowing they were fraudulent. As a result, the City of Worcester issued approximately $2,365,050 in federal funds to Levin that he was not entitled to. After the City issued the payment, Sutcivni or other City officials, submitted reimbursement requests to HUD or DHCD for HUD funds.
U.S. Attorney Rollins, FBI Boston Division SAC Bonavolonta and Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Region, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Danial Bennett, of Rollins’ Worcester Branch Office and Brendan Mockler, of Rollins’ Asset Recovery Unit, prosecuted the case.