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Press Release

Missoula Resident Amber Tyler Sentenced For Theft Of Government Money

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula on April 17, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen, AMBER TYLER, age 31, was sentenced to a term of five years' probation. She was also ordered to pay $23,103 in restitution to the Missoula Housing Authority.

In a sentencing memorandum filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad Spraker, the government described Tyler's conduct as the following:

From April 2006 to January 2012, the defendant, Amber Tyler, repeatedly lied to the Missoula Housing Authority as to whether Kenneth Weber, the father of one of her children, was living with her. Due to Tyler's false statements, the Missoula Housing Authority paid over $23,000 in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) section 8 housing benefits to which the defendant was not entitled.

Tyler entered the Section 8 program in April 2004. Kenneth Weber began living with her in Missoula in April 2006. Weber, on probation at the time, stated to his probation officer on April 4, 2006, that he was moving in with his girlfriend, Amber. The same day Tyler signed an annual recertification making no indication that Weber was living with her.

Weber's monthly probation reports from April 2006 to September 2011 list the same residence as the defendant's address. In each year from 2006 to 2011 Tyler signed certification forms omitting any mention of Weber's presence or his financial resources. The only exception is a February 2009 "Recertification for Move," where Tyler lists Weber as a source of income but lists him as having a different address. In March 2009, Tyler moved to her current address in Missoula. Weber's probation reports also reflect the move.

On July 28, 2011, Missoula Housing Authority Program Specialist John Ellison wrote Tyler a letter stating that the authority received information that Weber was living in her household. The letter instructed Tyler to add him to the household. It further stated that the authority would use his income to calculate Tyler's rent. Missoula Housing Authority case notes state than on August 4, 2011, "Tenant" replied that "Kenneth Weber does not live there. Visits his child and helps but has his own place."

On January 5, 2012, T.J. Hanes, an agent with Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General and Weber's probation officer, Sandra Fairbank, interviewed Tyler and Weber at their residence. Tyler admitted that Weber had lived with her since 2006. Tyler stated that she did not list Weber as a household member because she believed he would not be allowed to live with her. Tyler also stated that she knew she was required to report all of Weber's income to the housing authority.

Updated January 14, 2015