Government Housing Officials Took Bribes From Section 8 Applicants

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Two former Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials are heading to prison for taking bribes from Section 8 applicants looking to circumvent the government’s waiting list, according to the Department of Justice.

Susana Munguia and and Lubina Pedraza were sentenced Wednesday for soliciting and accepting nearly $15,000 in bribes over three years from people applying for Section 8 housing vouchers. Munguia was the executive director and Pedraza a secretary at the Hidalgo Housing Authority in Texas where they worked with HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program.

The applicants paid Munguia and Pedraza either directly or through a third party — although it’s unclear how applicants financially needy enough to qualify for Section 8 funding had sufficient cash on hand. Then, Munguia “immediately” issued the applicant or third-party representative a housing check, the DOJ said. 

Munguia and Pedraza will spend 57 months and 46 months, respectively, behind bars for conspiracy to commit bribery, and both must forfeit the money they gained through the scheme.

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