ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — An employee with the Rochester Housing Authority (RHA) is now facing federal charges.
Federal officials announced that Janice White, 58 of Rochester, is charged with defrauding, and conspiring to defraud the Rochester Housing Charities (RHC), and with obstructing the government’s investigation.
Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to the complaint, White is the executive secretary for the director of the RHA, and the previous board secretary for the RHC. The report says that White also acted as a bookkeeper for the RHC and recorded minutes for the RHC board meetings.
HJJ Property Development is a Rochester business that is owned Margaret and Howard Jones Jr., White’s mother and stepfather. It’s alleged that White, on behalf of HJJ Property, billed the RHC for $87,069 on work that was never done.
White is accused of preparing a fraudulent invoice from HJJ to the RHC, which made it appear that the services had been completed.
There were other instances of fraud laid out in the federal complaint (full document below).
“Janice White is the third defendant to be charged with scheming to defraud the Rochester Housing Authority and related organizations,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy in a press release. “The very purpose of a housing agency, funded with federal dollars, is to provide a stable housing environment for those in our community who need assistance. When individuals entrusted to operate and run such an agency divert funds away from the laudable purposes for which such monies were earmarked and into their own pockets, the entire community is forced to pay a heavy price. This prosecution demonstrates the commitment that my office has to rooting out corruption, to eliminating those who place their own interests before those of the public whom they are supposed to serve, and, in the process, to restoring the public trust.”
Charges remain pending against George Moses, former Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Rochester Housing Authority.
Former Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing a false tax return for his role in scheming to defraud the Rochester Housing Authority, and is awaiting sentencing.