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Press Release

Two Men Sentenced To 30 And 46 Months In Prison For Scheme To Defraud New York City Program For Homeless Veterans

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JEROME WEAH was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 46 months in prison for engaging in a scheme to defraud a program of the New York City Human Resources Administration (“HRA”), which provides cash assistance to homeless veterans of the United States armed services (“Veterans”) seeking permanent housing.  Another defendant, RUDEAN WEIR, was sentenced to 30 months in prison on March 30, 2023, for his participation in the scheme.  The sentences were imposed by United States District Judge Denise L. Cote.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Rudean Weir and Jerome Weah stole approximately $5.4 million from a New York City program intended to benefit U.S. veterans seeking permanent housing.  These sentences should send a message that individuals who abuse Government programs to enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers will face serious consequences.”

As alleged in the Complaint, Informations, and other documents in the public record, as well as statements made in public court proceedings:

From at least October 2020 through at least May 2022, RUDEAN WEIR and JEROME WEAH submitted more than 340 fraudulent applications seeking cash assistance pursuant to the Enhanced One Shot Deal (“EOSD”) program administered by the HRA.  The EOSD is an emergency assistance program pursuant to which HRA makes a one-time cash assistance payment to qualifying individuals.  EOSD payments are often used to help individuals move out of homeless shelters and/or other temporary housing into permanent housing.  EOSD payments may be used to cover certain costs associated with the move to permanent housing, including rent, moving expenses, security deposits, broker’s fees, and payments for furniture and other household items.  The HRA also offers and administers services and programs for Veterans, sometimes referred to as “Veteran’s Initiatives.”  In connection with these services, the HRA has a designated group responsible for receiving and reviewing EOSD requests made on behalf of homeless Veterans seeking permanent housing.

Between October 2020 and May 2022, the HRA received at least 340 EOSD applications which claimed that the applicants were homeless Veterans who had entered into a lease agreement with a particular landlord (“Landlord-1”).  Each of these applications (the “Landlord-1 EOSD Applications”) claimed that a particular company provided broker’s services in connection with the lease agreement (“Broker Company-1”).  HRA paid approximately $5.4 million in EOSD payments and broker’s fees pursuant to the Landlord-1 EOSD Applications.

The Landlord-1 EOSD Applications were fraudulent.  Landlord-1 and the Veterans did not, in fact, enter into the lease agreements submitted to HRA in connection with the Landlord-1 EOSD Applications, and Broker Company-1 did not provide real estate brokerage services to either Landlord-1 and/or the Veterans.  The Veterans identified in the Landlord-1 EOSD Applications were not homeless and typically did not live in New York City.  The Landlord-1 EOSD Applications, therefore, contained fake documentation and information and fraudulently induced HRA into making EOSD payments.

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In addition to the prison terms, both WEIR, 38, of Atlanta, Georgia, and WEAH, 47, of Trenton, New Jersey, were sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,388,769.60.  WEIR was ordered to forfeit $3,779,489.00, including his interest in two bank accounts and six real estate properties.  WEAH was ordered to forfeit $2,179,922.60, including his interest in two bank accounts and one real estate property.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York City Department of Investigation.  Mr. Williams also thanked the New York City Department of Social Services and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General for their assistance.

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Weinberg is in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated April 14, 2023

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 23-136