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Housing Fraud

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 1988
The former chief executive of a now-defunct West Los Angeles housing construction firm, Joseph Polifroni, 48, of Newport Beach has been sentenced to two years in prison for his role in a housing fraud that authorities said cost more than 500 victims hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 1984 and 1985, Polifroni's firm, Delta Homes Inc., offered fast construction of low-cost housing but built almost nothing, according to the charges.
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OPINION
January 27, 2012
Officials in the Antelope Valley cities of Lancaster and Palmdale have been under fire for months for allegedly harassing minority residents who receive public housing assistance. A civil rights lawsuit filed last June accused authorities of trying to drive blacks and Latinos who hold Section 8 vouchers out of the area through overzealous inspections of homes by housing officials and sheriff's deputies. In many cases, according to the plaintiffs' lawyers, inspectors would search for violations of Section 8 rules or criminal activity even though no complaint had been made.
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NEWS
April 12, 1987
Federal regulators recovered more than $6.6 million last year from firms and individuals who cheated the Department of Housing and Urban Development in a variety of housing-fraud schemes, the Administration said. The money was collected in fines and restitution during the 1986 fiscal year. In addition, the Veterans Administration has recovered $1.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 6, 2011 | By Melanie Hicken, Los Angeles Times
The Glendale City Council has voted to issue subpoenas to an affordable housing developer that allegedly bilked the city out of millions in construction overcharges ? laying the groundwork for potential litigation to recover the losses. The developer, Advanced Development & Investment Inc., is under federal investigation for allegedly transferring millions of dollars to personal accounts and submitting fraudulent bills to cities across the state. Glendale's move came in a joint meeting Tuesday with the housing authority and less than a week after The Times reported that ADI was allegedly funneling thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to former and current City Council members through a network of subcontractors.
BUSINESS
May 29, 1994
As disappointing as it was to read of the indictment of a low-income-housing syndicator for allegedly misusing the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program ("Beverly Hills Man Indicted on Housing Fraud, May 18), it is critical for the public to understand how important and useful these credits are when administered properly and ethically. They are, in fact, one of the few government subsidies that work exactly as they are supposed to, providing the means to develop badly needed affordable housing as well as creating significant income tax offsets for people and companies who invest in that housing.
NEWS
May 3, 1990 | MARLENE CIMONS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A former top official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development continued Wednesday to rebut former HUD Secretary Samuel R. Pierce Jr.'s claim that he was a "hands-off" manager who was unaware of fraud and abuse within the agency.
OPINION
January 27, 2012
Officials in the Antelope Valley cities of Lancaster and Palmdale have been under fire for months for allegedly harassing minority residents who receive public housing assistance. A civil rights lawsuit filed last June accused authorities of trying to drive blacks and Latinos who hold Section 8 vouchers out of the area through overzealous inspections of homes by housing officials and sheriff's deputies. In many cases, according to the plaintiffs' lawyers, inspectors would search for violations of Section 8 rules or criminal activity even though no complaint had been made.
NEWS
May 1, 1990 | ROBERT L. JACKSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An aide to former Housing Secretary Samuel R. Pierce Jr. testified Monday that Pierce often awarded federal housing grants on the basis of friendship and political favoritism. The testimony of DuBois L.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 1987 | GABE FUENTES, Times Staff Writer
The owners of two companies that listed apartments and houses for rent have been arrested for allegedly providing customers with phony listings, Los Angeles police said Thursday. Police said the companies--Rental Connection of Sherman Oaks and Citywide Rentals Inc. of West Hollywood--advertised as available for rent homes that did not exist or were already rented.
NEWS
September 3, 1989 | JOHN HURST and TOM FURLONG, Times Staff Writers
Beverly Vedder was so upset by angry phone calls from homeowners that she occasionally broke down and cried. "I was reduced to tears at times," testified the former secretary for giant housing developer Kaufman & Broad. "I was overwhelmed." Of the many homeowner grievances that Vedder received, one especially stuck in her mind.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 3, 2010 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
A Downey used-car dealer who allegedly used voodoo-like dolls targeting the prosecutor and investigators was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison for a multimillion-dollar house-buying fraud scheme. Ruben Hernandez was accused in 2008 in a series of house purchases using fake Social Security numbers and fake bank statements that defrauded banks of about $4 million. The U.S. Marshals Service took Hernandez into custody in February 2009 after he became involved in a high-speed chase.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 2, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A Venice man was charged Thursday in connection with a scheme in which police said he posed as a landlord, showed vacant homes in the South Bay and San Diego to prospective tenants and collected thousands of dollars in security deposits. Redondo Beach Police Sgt. Peter Grimm said Kenneth Colvin, 28, went so far as to break into a few of the empty dwellings to give tours to prospective renters who responded to an ad for rental property on the website craigslist.com.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Six sailors from a San Diego-based ship were charged with illegally obtaining more than $122,000 in housing allowance payments by falsely claiming they were married, Navy officials said. The sailors from the amphibious dock landing ship Germantown faked marriages with civilians or presented false Mexican marriage certificates to obtain military housing allowances available only to married personnel, single parents with dependents, officers and senior enlisted personnel, prosecutors said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 29, 2001 | From Times Staff Reports
Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies arrested a Compton woman Thursday in connection with a Bellflower real estate firm that allegedly defrauded people seeking subsidized housing. Latrice Roujau, 33, was booked on suspicion of grand theft with a $10,000 bail, said Deputy Faye Bugarin. At least four other suspects are being sought in connection with the investigation of Exclusive Property Investments, she said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 1995 | FRANK MANNING
An Arleta woman has been charged with grand theft in connection with an alleged scam in which she posed as a landlord to bilk a federal disaster relief program out of $11,309, authorities said. Patricia Kahn, 37, conducted the scam for more than a year, while the real owner of the Van Nuys dwelling was away attending to personal business, said Los Angeles City Atty. Jim Hahn. The money came from a U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 1, 1990 | GEORGE FRANK
Seven Orange County residents have been arrested for allegedly defrauding the government of housing subsidies and welfare payments, a spokesman for the district attorney's office announced Friday. The arrests were made separately and under a new county fraud detection program aimed at those who are illegally receiving rental subsidies from the federal government. The suspects were all charged with grand theft, and three of them face an additional charge of welfare fraud. Deputy Dist. Atty.
NEWS
August 5, 1989 | MICHAEL FLAGG, Times Staff Writer
Al Wiggins was a small Santa Ana home builder who started out as a barber. Mac Binger was born to one of the wealthiest families in America: prominent Midwesterners, owners of thoroughbred racehorses and Broadway theaters. This unlikely pair teamed up to build luxury condominiums around a golf course and country club in the resort town of Palm Desert using a federal Department of Housing and Urban Development program for the poor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 1994 | JULIE TAMAKI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A coin auction house co-owned by sports magnate Bruce McNall was accused Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior court of orchestrating a fraud scheme to take advantage of the daughters of a Thousand Oaks millionaire. Robert A. Levinson, an attorney representing the sisters suing the Superior Stamp & Coin Co., told a judge during opening statements that evidence will show his clients fell victim to an "unparalleled scheme of fraud." The embattled McNall, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, owns 51% of Superior.
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