What Happens If I Lie On Section 8 In New York City?
Section 8 is a government program designed to assist low-income families to pay rent. The program is sponsored by the federal government and is run by the HUD (The US Department of Housing and Urban Development) and the local municipalities. In New York City, Section 8 is managed through the NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority). Section 8 operates under a voucher program. The applicant/beneficiary is responsible for finding their own housing and pay about one-third of the rent. The rest is paid by the program directly to the landlord.
To qualify for Section 8 in New York City, the beneficiary must pass the income eligibility and asset test. Families with excessive income are not eligible. For example, as of 2011, a family of 2 has an income limit of $30,700. A family of 3 is limited to $34,550, and a family of 4 is allowed to have an income of 38,400.
Providing false information on a Section 8 application in NYC or anywhere else is a crime. Misrepresentations and omissions regarding total income and family composition are common examples of false statements for which Section 8 recipients are prosecuted. It is also illegal to rent or sublet a Section 8-sposored apartment.
Section 8 fraud in New York City may be investigated and prosecuted by local, state, and federal authorities. Local district attorneys’ offices prosecute most Section 8 fraud cases in NYC, but there is a raising number of federal prosecutions as well. State charges generally include grand larceny and filing of a false business document and federal charges usually are theft of public money under 18 U.S.C. Section 641 or related statutes.
As far as penalties for Section 8 fraud are concerned, this greatly depends on the circumstances of the case, the defendant’s criminal history, the level of fraud, and the amount stolen. Federal criminal statutes that address theft of public funds have maximum imprisonment terms of up to 10 years, although such a draconian sentence is rarely if ever given in average cases.
If you have been investigated or arrested for Section8 fraud in New York City, call our NYC criminal lawyers at (212) 577-6677 to discuss the case.