Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Tampa housing official pleads guilty

TAMPA — In the first of a string of similar court hearings this week, a former Tampa Housing Authority official pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of conspiracy and embezzling federal grant money.

Federal prosecutors said the scheme involved three former Tampa Housing Authority employees who recruited friends and relatives to pose as landlords and defraud the Department of Housing and Urban Development of more than $100,000.

A federal indictment unsealed in December named 13 people in the conspiracy.

Former Section 8 counselor Calvin Coleman, 44, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy, nine counts of embezzlement and two counts of using public money for personal gain. The more serious counts of embezzlement and misuse of public funds carry a maximum of 10 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

Coleman worked as a Section 8 counselor for the Tampa Housing Authority between Jan. 31, 2000, and April 1, 2005. Prosecutors said that from as early as August 2003, Coleman was embezzling HUD money.

As a Section 8, or Housing Choice program counselor, Coleman illegally authorized utility allowance payments to individuals who weren't entitled to receive them, according to court records.

Prosecutors said Coleman then conspired with co-worker Carlton Miles, another Section 8 counselor, to enter bogus landlord names into the Housing Authority's computer system and fraudulently send those individuals housing payment money. The third former Housing Authority employee charged in the scheme is Mario Lovett.

Jose Oliver and Koungnum Brown, two of the bogus landlords recruited by Coleman, are scheduled to plead guilty later this week. Brian Montgomery, another fake landlord who pleaded guilty in January to the fraud, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Montgomery is facing a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Kevin Graham can be reached at kgraham@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Former Tampa housing official pleads guilty 04/22/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 9:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida education news: Schools of Hope, substitute pay, testing and more

    Blogs

    SCHOOLS OF HOPE: Hillsborough County school district leaders have expressed their displeasure with portions of Florida's sweeping new education law, HB 7069. But that doesn't mean they're above taking advantage of it where the provisions might help. Officials are now contemplating

  2. St. Pete Beach to hold line on property tax rate

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — Property tax rates are slated to remain unchanged here next year, but many residents may see higher tax bills, thanks to a 7.2 percent increase in property values.

    St. Pete Beach City Manager Wayne Saunders.
  3. Rays morning after: How exactly did they let that game slip away

    Blogs

    Rays manager Kevin Cash assumed Thursday's game was over when Gary Sanchez rolled a ground ball toward the shortstop spot with the tying run on third and two outs in the ninth. So did closer Alex Colome. As well as second baseman Tim Beckham.

  4. 5 things to know before Tampa Bay Comic Con this weekend

    Events

    Tampa Bay Comic Con returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, expected to attract more than 55,000 like-minded nerds mingling with cosplayers, celebrities, artists and sellers of comic books and collectibles.

    Surrounded by the bridesmaids dressed as Disney princesses and groomsmen dressed as Marvel superheroes, Gwen Walter of Venice, Fla., kisses her husband, Shawn Walter, also of Venice, after their wedding ceremony on day two of the 2016 Tampa Bay Comic Con in the Tampa Convention Center on August 6, 2016. The pair got engaged at Megacon 2015 and were married wearing "Nightmare Before Christmas"-themed costumes. Two different couples were married in Room 24 on the second day of the Tampa Bay Comic Con 2016. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times
  5. White House tensions catch fire with Scaramucci interviews (w/video)

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's new communications director exploded the smoldering tensions at the White House into a full-fledged conflagration Thursday, angrily daring Trump's chief of …

    White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci gestures as he answers a question during a press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing room of the White House in Washington on July 21, 2017. Scaramucci offered newsroom leaders a test on Thursday. They needed to decide whether to fully use the obscenities relied on by Scaramucci to describe fellow White House aides or talk around them. [Associated Press]