A former grant administrator admitted she stole $20,000 from a program that helps disabled and homeless citizens.
Patricia Howard, 58, pleaded guilty to embezzlement from an organization receiving federal benefits Monday before Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers in Huntington.
She was charged in a single count indictment in August 2012, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.
Howard was a former administrator with Huntington Housing Authority and handled the Shelter Plus Care Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the statement said.
She set up and administered accounts for landlords as well as homeless or disabled people involved in the program. She created a fake Shelter Care landlord account in August 2011 under the name Lawrence Green.
Howard used a variation of her Social Security number and a fake address to link the landlord account to her personal checking account. She then transferred more than $23,000 to herself in the course of a year.
Howard is currently being held on unrelated fraud charges in state court, but faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced Feb. 24.The FBI, Huntington police and the HUD Office of the Inspector General investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Goes handled prosecution.