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Old 12-05-2011, 02:11 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,495,054 times
Reputation: 2331

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There was a thread on either this forum or the retirement forum about housing assistance to the low-income earners. Within the thread, we learned that most of us do not qualify for assistance because although our income/pension/SS are low, they are not low enough to merit help from the government.

Here is a woman who has been receiving $1272 housing voucher each month to live on a 2400 sq ft lakefront property in WA since 2003. The house belongs to her and her husband. Her husband, a chiropractor, acted as landlord and she as tenant when she applied for HUD. The address of their 1.2M home was clearly listed on the application; HUD did not care to check. I've always thought HUD must approve the property before signing a contract with the landlord. Am I mistaken on that belief?

In addition to the $1272 voucher for her to live on the property she and her husband owns (WA is a community property state), she also receives both state and federal disability payments in cash, plus food stamps. Her husband drives a Jaguar; there is a boat dock and a boatlift in front of the house. With the help of our tax money, the welfare recipient and her husband have been travelling to exotic destinations when they are not at home in their luxurious home.

Seattle welfare recipient lives in million-dollar home | The Sideshow - Yahoo! News

 
Old 12-05-2011, 02:51 PM
 
Location: California
29,613 posts, read 31,923,958 times
Reputation: 24743
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Wanderer View Post
There was a thread on either this forum or the retirement forum about housing assistance to the low-income earners. Within the thread, we learned that most of us do not qualify for assistance because although our income/pension/SS are low, they are not low enough to merit help from the government.

Here is a woman who has been receiving $1272 housing voucher each month to live on a 2400 sq ft lakefront property in WA since 2003. The house belongs to her and her husband. Her husband, a chiropractor, acted as landlord and she as tenant when she applied for HUD. The address of their 1.2M home was clearly listed on the application; HUD did not care to check. I've always thought HUD must approve the property before signing a contract with the landlord. Am I mistaken on that belief?

In addition to the $1272 voucher for her to live on the property she and her husband owns (WA is a community property state), she also receives both state and federal disability payments in cash, plus food stamps. Her husband drives a Jaguar; there is a boat dock and a boatlift in front of the house. With the help of our tax money, the welfare recipient and her husband have been travelling to exotic destinations when they are not at home in their luxurious home.

Seattle welfare recipient lives in million-dollar home | The Sideshow - Yahoo! News
They are criminals and have been committing fraud. And now they have been caught.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 03:48 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,731,620 times
Reputation: 38829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceece View Post
They are criminals and have been committing fraud. And now they have been caught.
Yeah!
 
Old 12-05-2011, 04:04 PM
 
5,479 posts, read 8,168,244 times
Reputation: 7302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceece View Post
They are criminals and have been committing fraud. And now they have been caught.

From the article says they were NOT breaking any laws and no charges have been filed.


Not saying what they were doing was RIGHT...

But not what you claim unless you have another source?
 
Old 12-05-2011, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,701 posts, read 3,995,179 times
Reputation: 6737
Both the woman and chiropractor appear to have committed fraud. I'm willing to bet the only reason they were caught is because someone "out there" reported them.

Welfare fraud investigators raid $1.2 million Lake Washington home - seattlepi.com

How incredibly stupid of them. All for a few extra bucks per month. Yes, I know it sounds like a lot - but it's probably less than $2500/mth. Not much for a chiropractor who had enough money to purchase the property. Dumb & greedy.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 05:24 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,495,054 times
Reputation: 2331
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
All for a few extra bucks per month. Yes, I know it sounds like a lot - but it's probably less than $2500/mth. Not much for a chiropractor who had enough money to purchase the property. Dumb & greedy.

The husband helped/helps with the fraud, but the wife is the welfare recipient, although how they do that while still being married, I have no idea.

$1272 x 12 = $15,264 -- $15,264 x 8= $122,112

That's the amount she has received from housing alone. Not counting welfare, food stamps, and disability.

Her food is paid with food stamps, part of her mortgage is paid by HUD, her living expenses are paid by welfare and disability. A very well-rounded scheme.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,701 posts, read 3,995,179 times
Reputation: 6737
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Wanderer View Post
The husband helped/helps with the fraud, but the wife is the welfare recipient, although how they do that while still being married, I have no idea.

$1272 x 12 = $15,264 -- $15,264 x 8= $122,112

That's the amount she has received from housing alone. Not counting welfare, food stamps, and disability.

Her food is paid with food stamps, part of her mortgage is paid by HUD, her living expenses are paid by welfare and disability. A very well-rounded scheme.
The "husband" asserted he was her landlord. He directly participated in the scheme, i.e. signing off on documents, etc. No mortgage noted. They may or may not be legally married. It really doesn't matter. All persons living in a household must be reported. SSI (disability) is currently at $674/mth and food stamps average $130/mth for a household. Receiving SSI would have also qualified her for Medicaid, although it would be interesting to see if she actually used it. I'm not sure how she would qualify for "welfare", i.e. TANF, even if she committed fraud. I'm guessing she started receiving benefits legitimately when she was younger and had minor children and failed to report changes when she "married" the chiropractor, or if not married, moved in with him. (I feel like I'm speculating as to the next episode of As the World Turns.)

I'm not suggesting the total amount of benefits over 8-15 years was insignificant; I'm stating the $2500/month in benefits is not worth the penalty for committing fraud when the "husband" is a professional who probably earns a substantial amount of money on his own.

I'm going to try and hunt down the legal documents. I'm interested in knowing how the two pulled this off.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 07:31 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,495,054 times
Reputation: 2331
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
I'm going to try and hunt down the legal documents. I'm interested in knowing how the two pulled this off.
Please share what you can find.

Assuming the husband covered both of their derrières before signing with HUD (they are not legally married, or they are legally separated and she does not receive spousal support from him, or her name is not on the deed, etc.), I wonder if her attorney would shift part of the responsibility onto HUD. Since she did disclose the address of the residence, and HUD authorized the voucher to pay for her residency there, would she still be charged with fraud?

In addition, how did she receive $1272 in housing assistance for one person? Fair market rent for privately-owned homes in 2011 determined by HUD for Seattle-Bellevue Metropolitan Area is $977 for one-bedroom unit. HUD recipients are required to pay 30% or 40% of their adjusted income toward the rent, and the voucher makes up the rest. If she received $1272, then her "rent" must be a whole lot more than what HUD would allow their recipients to have.
 
Old 12-05-2011, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,701 posts, read 3,995,179 times
Reputation: 6737
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Wanderer View Post
Please share what you can find.

Assuming the husband covered both of their derrières before signing with HUD (they are not legally married, or they are legally separated and she does not receive spousal support from him, or her name is not on the deed, etc.), I wonder if her attorney would shift part of the responsibility onto HUD. Since she did disclose the address of the residence, and HUD authorized the voucher to pay for her residency there, would she still be charged with fraud? Yes, because the address is irrelevant in that it is not where she lived that is the issue, but rather with whom she lived. She indicated that she was single and lived with her two children. She did not disclose that she was living with the homeowner. The homeowner used his clinic's address as his residence.

In addition, how did she receive $1272 in housing assistance for one person? Fair market rent for privately-owned homes in 2011 determined by HUD for Seattle-Bellevue Metropolitan Area is $977 for one-bedroom unit. HUD recipients are required to pay 30% or 40% of their adjusted income toward the rent, and the voucher makes up the rest. If she received $1272, then her "rent" must be a whole lot more than what HUD would allow their recipients to have. As noted above, she stated that she lived with her two children. More than likely she received the 3 bedroom subsidy.
I found the complaint, but I can't link to it because it is posted through the federal court's pacer system.

In a nutshell, the Feds are arguing that she first received SSI in the 90's and that she failed to inform SSA that she married (but feds did not provide proof of marriage) and that she had assets in a joint account with her daughter (the reporting of which would have terminated her SSI). Because she received SSI, she was automatically eligible to receive Food Stamps and Medicaid. (Note: This is proper procedure and is called "deeming.")

In terms of the housing voucher, the chiropractor was the landlord and received the voucher funds directly from the section 8 program. Vouchers cannot be used to pay an owner-occupant landlord. Thus, the chiropractor and his "wife" were both charged with fraud.

At some point, the woman also received TANF benefits. She indicated she was single and lived with her children. Again, she failed to disclose assets held in the joint account with her daughter and that there was (allegedly) another member of the household.

IMO, parts of the complaint sound a little weak, i.e. the allegation of marriage without proof and only a few times cited where the chiropractor was seen at the residence. Either the Feds chose to spend an insufficient amount of time conducting surveillance OR they did conduct sufficient surveillance but failed to state that most of the time the Chiropractor was not at the residence. This should be an interesting case. (However, I'm betting the Feds are looking for a settlement.)
 
Old 12-06-2011, 11:08 AM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,495,054 times
Reputation: 2331
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
At some point, the woman also received TANF benefits. She indicated she was single and lived with her children.
That's why her voucher is $1272, HUD's allowance for a max rent of $1662 on a three bedroom. But that means she must live with two or three underage children in that house. If the children are no longer there and she continues to receive the same voucher, that would be either another fraud charge or another failure to monitor the case from HUD part.

Thanks for your research, Lenora.
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