OIG's "Operation Double Dip" Uncovers $300,000 in Housing Fraud in Florida

OIG's "Operation Double Dip" Uncovers $300,000 in Housing Fraud in Florida

Twelve people (including 11 residents and one landlord) were charged with defrauding HUD and the Miami-Dade Housing Agency (MDHA) of more than $300,000 in rental assistance funds. They have been indicted on charges that include public assistance fraud, organized scheme to defraud, grand theft, identity theft, and conspiracy.

Known as “Operation Double-Dip,” this aggressive fraud and abuse investigation was conducted by the Office of the Inspector General’s special agents in cooperation with state agencies, including Assistant State Attorney Sandra Miller-Batiste, Public Corruption Division, and police detectives.

One resident was accused of concealing her employment income from a hospital job and her ownership of a single-family home so that she could continue to qualify for housing assistance from MDHA. In addition to rental assistance, she also received $49,220 in HUD “HOME” funds, and she sublet her public housing unit to several people from whom she unlawfully collected rent payments.

One landlord was charged with unlawfully collecting rent payments in excess of those stipulated in his Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract with MDHA. The landlord falsely certified on the HAP contract that he had not and would not accept any monies in excess of those stipulated in the contract.

Another resident, at a private development funded by HUD HOME funds and low-income housing tax credits, fraudulently used a child’s Social Security identification number, and concealed employment income from her job as a public school teacher to qualify for continued housing assistance.