|HUD No. 19-046
HUD Public Affairs
April 8, 2019
HUD FINDS COOK COUNTY COUPLE ENGAGED IN SECTION 8 SCHEME
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that a Cook County, Illinois couple committed fraud by accepting housing assistance they were not qualified to receive in order to rent a property they jointly owned.
According to HUD's complaint, Korey Sloan and Christie Caldwell are married and own a single-family property in Matteson, Illinois. In 2006, Caldwell and the couple's four children sought rental assistance from the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) to lease the home from Sloan, who posed as an unrelated landlord.
In her initial application for rental assistance, and in subsequent tenant recertifications, Caldwell denied any relationship with Sloan and any ownership interest in the property while the family continued to reside in the home. As a result, Sloan and Caldwell fraudulently obtained rent subsidies they were not qualified to receive for more than seven years.
Following its investigation, HUD's Office of Inspector General referred the matter to the Illinois Attorney General's Office for criminal prosecution and to HUD for an action under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act (PFCRA). An Administrative Law Judge for the Department ruled that, by failing to respond to the complaint, the couple admitted to defrauding the Housing Choice Voucher Program and is therefore liable for penalties totaling $25,830.