Former executive director of Collinwood and Nottingham Villages Development Corporation arrested and charged with embezzling $172,000 from the nonprofit
A former executive director of a Cleveland community development corporation was arrested this morning for embezzling more than $172,000 from the Collinwood and Nottingham Villages Development Corporation.
Tamiko Parker, 46, of Cleveland, is scheduled to appear on Thursday at 2 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Cleveland. She has been indicted on one count of theft of federal funds.
Parker served as executive director of Collinwood and Nottingham Villages Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that was to acquire, develop and lease property on the northeast side of Cleveland.
Parker misused various accounts through a variety of schemes including making unauthorized cash withdrawals, having checks issued to her and using debit and credit cards to pay her personal expenses. This took place between September 2014 through February 2016, according to court documents.
Parker used the community development corporation’s debit card to make purchases at Harley Davidson, the Horseshoe Casino, Victoria’s Secret and in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. She used the community development corporation’s credit card to purchase appliances at Home Depot for her home. Parker collected cash rental payments from tenants of the nonprofit and deposited cash into her personal account, according to court documents.
“This defendant betrayed the trust placed in her by a city and a community,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “Instead of using her position to spur redevelopment, she used it as a personal piggy bank to gamble and travel.”
“Ms. Parker stole hundreds of thousands of dollars planned for economic development in the community,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. “The only thing Ms. Parker was developing was her lavish lifestyle. She will now be held accountable for being a thief.”
“The charges disclosed today prove our continuing resolve to root out fraud and corruption in all forms, especially when the programs involved should have been used to help our neediest families,” said Brad Geary, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General. “It is our continuing core mission to work with our Federal law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s Office to protect the integrity of our housing programs and to take strong action against those who seek to personally benefit from taxpayer-funded grants.”
“Those funds were designated to improve the lives of the residents and business owners in the Collinwood neighborhood,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley.
This case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development -- Office of Inspector General. and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian M. McDonough and Carmen Henderson.
If convicted, the sentence in this case will be determined by the Court after consideration of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which depend upon a number of factors unique to each case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the unique characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
An indictment is a charge and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.