A Huntington woman will spend a year and a day in federal prison for stealing more than $20,000 from an organization that helps the homeless.
Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers handed down the sentence to Patricia Howard, 54, Monday. Howard, a former employee of the Huntington Housing Authority's Shelter Care Plus program, embezzled $23,731 from the program in 2011 and 2012 when she was an employee, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.
She will have to repay the sum.
The Shelter Care Plus program receives federal money to provide housing assistance for homeless citizens with mental illnesses, chronic addiction and AIDS. Howard helped handle the Shelter Care Plus program's finances.
She used her position to make transfers of program money to personal account by masking them as payments for housing for the homeless. She admitted the scheme to authorities when she was caught, the release said.
Howard is currently serving a one-to-three year sentence in state prison for an unrelated charge of credit card fraud. She will begin her federal sentence when she is released from state custody.
The FBI, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General and Huntington police investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Goes handled prosecution.