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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 10:42am

Finding the Fraud


POSTED: Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 5:31pm

UPDATED: Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 6:08pm

The Housing Authority of El Paso, HACEP, helps out low-income families with an affordable place to live. But what if families aren't honest about those incomes?

HACEP launched a fraud unit a few months ago to make sure families were reporting correct incomes so their rents could be adjusted accordingly.

"There are things they should improve in our community,"

Pilar Medina lives in a housing authority community with her three kids. Since there's things she'd like to see improved, she doesn't want to see any money wasted.

"They should improve the parks, the units, the cabinets."

But money was wasted. Tens of thousands of federal tax dollars going to people lying about their income to qualify for more assistance.

"They have a unit that can be used by another person who truly is making less money," Medina said.

So HACEP created a fraud unit.

"In order to keep it affordable we have to make sure that the people participating in our program are paying their fair share," said HACEP spokesman Shane Griffith.

The fraud unit is comprised of two detectives who follow tips and knock on the doors of people they think may be committing fraud. If the person is found to be lying, they have to pay up, or lose their home and be prosecuted.

"We've successfully collected $120,000," Griffith said.

Medina is glad to not only see the economic crackdown, but also the moral one.

"The program they're doing is a good thing, to know which neighbors aren't telling the truth," she said.

Comments News Comments

Get rid of welfare. it makes people lazy. why would anyone go and get a better job when the government will pay them to sit at home? get rid of the career welfare people. generation after
generation on welfare.

Conducting random investigations with those listed on the security administration will have individuals employment history, will also help out with false identities. Conduct annual background checks on all adult tenants, request bank statements, check stubs, employer letters, also request car insurance verfication for vehicles belonging to the tenants as well as Texas plates, if parked on housing property.

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