The board chairman for the Rochester Housing Authority is facing charges for lying the FBI.
George Moses appeared in court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing on those charges.
Prosecutors say along with being the chairman for the Rochester Housing Authority (RHA), Moses also serves on the board of Rochester Housing Charities (RHC).
We’re told it all started in March of 2015 when prosecutors say that Moses was appointed to the RHC board by the RHA, at Moses’ direction.
At the same meeting, prosecutors say Moses also had the RHA board approve a $300,000 loan to RHC. Shortly after, the RHC hired consulting firm Capital Connection Partners (CCP) on a $87,500 one-year contract.
In turn, prosecutors say Capital Connection Partners entered into an agreement with Caesar Development, a company owned by Adam McFadden. As part of the agreement, prosecutors say CCP would send along 75 percent of the funds it received from Rochester Housing Charity to McFadden’s company.
On August 3, 2015, the Rochester Housing Authority, acting for the Housing Charity, sent $43,750 to CCP. Five days later, McFadden’s company got $32,812.50 from CCP. In December, the Housing Charity sent along another $43,750 to CCP. The following day, Christmas Eve 2015, CCP sent another $32,812.50 to McFadden’s company.
However, when questioned about these contracts and this money, FBI agents say Moses misled agents on the facts.
Prosecutors say Moses lied to FBI agents on four regards:
1.) When asked about how the RHA found out about CCP, Moses said he wasn’t sure who brought it to the board. But prosecutors say Moses knew full well it was McFadden.
2.) When asked whether Moses knew if CCP had any subcontractors for the RHC contract, agents said Moses told them he wasn’t aware of any. Prosecutors say he was lying.
3.) When told McFadden had received money from the contract, Moses said he was surprised. Prosecutors say he knew McFadden was getting money from CCP.
4.) Prosecutors said Moses he was surprised to learn McFadden was at a meeting focused on CCP and RHA/RHC’s relationship, but prosecutors say he knew McFadden would show up.
“The message today is simple,” said U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy. “It is appropriate and taxpayers to expect honesty from the public officials who desire to serve them. Today’s charges demonstrate the strong consequences when public officials fail to tell the truth.”
Moses appeared in court Tuesday morning for an initial appearance and he was released on his own recognizance. Moses faces up to five years behind bars if convicted and a $250,000 fine.
At this time, McFadden is not accused of any crime, but prosecutors say they are investigating the contracts between RHC, CCP and McFadden’s company. When asked for comment, McFadden told News 8 he has none at this time, but planned to send a statement.
In a statement from the RHA, officials say Tynise Edwards will serve as interim board chair as the investigation into Moses is underway.
Full RHA statement
The board of commissioners and executive team at Rochester Housing Authority (RHA) are surprised and dismayed by the charges brought against George Moses, who has served on the board since 2014. We are cooperating fully with the federal investigation.
Today, the Rochester Housing Authority Board has named Tynise Edwards as Vice Chair, who will serve as Interim Board Chairperson during this investigation.
Rochester Housing Charities (RHC), formed in 2012, is an independently operated and managed tax exempt 501(c) (3) entity. RHC has a separate staff, board of directors, officers and business location from Rochester Housing Authority.
The entire team at RHA remains focused on our mission and continuing to serve more than 25,000 lower-income families, seniors and disabled residents and program participants in the five-county Greater Rochester area.