A Houston County grand jury indicted seven people Tuesday on a charge of federal housing fraud, a prosecutor said.
Houston County District Attorney Kelly Burke said the indictments are fairly routine, though seven at one time was probably a lot.
Burke said he hopes the indictments will send a message to those who also might be lying to obtain federal housing subsidies.
Burke said he’s also hopeful it will encourage others who monitor such federal programs to keep a close check for fraud, especially in tough economic times when there are so many people who legitimately qualify for such subsidies.
In all, about 20 residents face prosecution this year for violating Section 8 housing subsidies, Burke said.
If violators pay the money back and successfully complete probation, the felony charges may be removed for all practical purposes from their records if they qualify for first-offender status, Burke said.
The amounts allegedly stolen by the seven indicted Tuesday range from about $6,800 to about $24,100.