Skip to main content
Press Release

Former Parma housing official sentenced to prison for stealing $232,000

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

A former employee at Parma Public Housing Agency was sentenced to more than a year in prison for stealing $232,000 from the agency, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Amy Belz, 34, of Brunswick, Ohio, was sentenced to 16 months in prison. She previously pleaded guilty to theft of government funds.

“This defendant lined her pockets with nearly a quarter of a million dollars that was meant to help poor people,” Dettelbach said. “Public employees who steal from taxpayers will be held accountable for their actions.”

Between 2008 and 2014, while Belz was program manager of the Parma Public Housing Agency, she stole $232,407.48 by writing 138 checks to herself, money which was provided to Parma from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In order to conceal her theft of funds from Parma Public Housing Agency and HUD, Belz made the checks out to herself, but typed vendor names on the carbon copies in the Parma Public Housing Agency check registers. Belz then created false invoices from these legitimate Parma Public Housing Agency vendors, attached them to the false carbon copies, and placed them in the Parma Public Housing Agency files to make it appear that the vendor was paid for work, knowing that such was never actually ordered or completed, according to court documents.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Adam Hollingsworth after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General and the Parma Police Department.

Updated August 27, 2015

Public Corruption