Former Federal Employee in Albany Charged with Defrauding the Department of Housing and Urban Development
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Timothy J. Oravec, age 59, of Poughkeepsie, New York, was arrested today on charges that he defrauded the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and some of its employees by falsely claiming to have cancer, and obtaining and using leave time donated to him by his colleagues.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge for HUD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), Northeast Region.
Oravec worked for HUD in Albany. The indictment alleges that in 2013, Oravec falsely told his supervisors and coworkers at HUD that he had been diagnosed with cancer and would need to be absent from work as a result. Oravec was approved as a recipient of donated leave as part of a voluntary leave transfer program operated by HUD. Other HUD employees donated 694 hours of their vacation time to Oravec. He used most of the donated vacation time to miss work, while being paid over $24,000 in salary.
The indictment also alleges that, as part of the scheme, Oravec fabricated letters from multiple medical providers and gave those fabricated letters to his supervisors at HUD. Those letters purported to describe Oravec’s treatment for cancer. In fact, Oravec was not under the care and treatment of the providers and created the letters himself.
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Oravec was arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge Christian F. Hummel, who ordered him released with conditions pending trial before Senior United States District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr.
If convicted, Oravec would face up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a maximum term of post-imprisonment supervised release of 3 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
This case is being investigated by HUD-OIG and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Gadarian.