Monday, February 10, 2014

KCK apartment managers pay $640,000 to settle false claim allegations

U.S. Department of Justice

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced today that Foley Family Property Management, Inc., a California company, has agreed to pay $640,000 to the United States to settle allegations that the company submitted false claims to the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in violation of the federal False Claims Act.

The company, formerly doing business as Alpha Property Management, Inc., operates apartment complexes in Kansas City, Kan., including Terrace Pointe Apartments at 641 S. 71st Terrace.

The settlement resolves allegations the company submitted false claims to HUD’s Section 8 multi-family housing program for Terrace Point tenants from November 2005 through January 2011.

The government contended that the company submitted claims to HUD for foreign citizens who were not eligible for Section 8 assistance because they were not in the United States lawfully.

A former assistant property manager at Terrace Point accepted counterfeit citizenship documents and falsely reported Section 8 eligibility in exchange for bribes from the tenants. Under the program, the HUD housing subsidy payments were made to the company.

In a separate case, the former assistant property manager, Mary Amador, and nine former tenants previously pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges.

The company denied the allegations and, according to the terms of the agreement, the company does not admit any wrongdoing.

“Today’s settlement demonstrates our continuing commitment to protect the integrity of federal programs. It is important that limited federal assistance resources be preserved for those who lawfully qualify and need them,” said U.S. Attorney Grissom.

“The settlement should send a strong message that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, will aggressively investigate those who fail to exercise integrity in connection with HUD programs.

Working in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we will use whatever means necessary - both civil and criminal - to isolate and punish individuals or companies that commit fraud against HUD’s programs and personally benefit from the fraud perpetrated at the expense of individuals qualified to receive housing assistance,” said David Barnes, Special Agent in Charge, HUD Office of Inspector General.

Grissom commended the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, OIG; the Department of Justice Civil Frauds Section; and Assistant United States Attorney Jon Fleenor for their work on the case.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.