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Press Release

Dallas Woman Sentenced to 12 Months and 1 Day in Federal Prison For Stealing Government Money

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

DALLAS — Tasha Lashaun Wilson, of Dallas, was sentenced last Friday by Chief U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn to serve a prison sentence of 12 months and one day for theft of government funds, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Wilson pleaded guilty in July 2015 to one count of theft of government money. Chief Judge Lynn ordered that Wilson be immediately remanded into federal custody at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing. Wilson was also order to pay back the loss to the government, none of which Wilson had attempted to pay back prior to the sentencing hearing.

According to documents filed in the case, on October 24, 2012, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Inspector General (OIG) received information about a Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) tenant believed to have a financial interest in the residence where she was living in Frisco, Texas.

A review of Wilson’s Dallas Housing Authority (DHA) tenant file revealed that she had been a HCV program participant since 2003. It was also determined that Wilson received United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and Medicaid assistance.

In 2010, Wilson was looking for a place to live while she was a participant in the HCV program. Wilson’s friend agreed to sign up to be an approved landlord in the HCV program so Wilson could live in his house in Frisco, Texas while she remained in the HCV program. As part of the process to be approved as a landlord, Wilson’s friend submitted a direct deposit form into which DHA would deposit money to subsidize Wilson’s rent. This direct deposit form listed a bank account to which both Wilson and her friend were signatories, but the submitted form did not disclose Wilson as a signatory to the account. Wilson told investigators that prior to submitting the direct deposit form, she told her friend that disclosing Wilson as a signatory to the joint bank account would be a problem because it would get her kicked out of the HCV program. Wilson’s friend told her that he would make sure Wilson’s name did not appear on the direct deposit form.

In September of 2010, Wilson completed and submitted an application to have her HCV rental subsidy transferred to her friend’s house in Frisco, Texas. From 2010 through into 2014, DHA deposited money into the joint bank account believing that it was sending money to Wilson’s landlord to subsidize her rent. Instead, Wilson accessed and spent the money at retailers and restaurants. Wilson was required to go through an annual re-certification process through which she was required to report income; Wilson did not disclose to DHA or HUD that she had access to, and was spending money from, the joint bank account. When confronted by law enforcement, Wilson admitted that she actively concealed the joint bank account because she knew that if she had reported it, she would have been kicked out of the HCV program.

An analysis of Wilson’s DHA HAP payments history from November 1, 2010, through February 28, 2014, revealed losses to DHA/HUD totaling $60,073.00. Similarly, an analysis of Wilson's SNAP benefit payments and Medicaid payments made during the same time period reveal losses to the government totaling $7,370.00 and $9,836.37, respectively.

HUD investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie L. Hoxie prosecuted.

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Lisa Slimak

Updated July 3, 2017

Financial Fraud