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Tampa man, others plead guilty in kickback scheme

Ten people have agreed to plead guilty in a scheme to skim nearly $1-million in kickbacks from federally insured housing projects, prosecutors said.

Money paid by public housing residents for rent went to property management companies, auditors, construction supervisors and a roofing company, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Then attempts were made to thwart investigations and audits into the activities.

The money instead should been used to cover late mortgage payments, officials said.

Federal prosecutors announced the unsealing late Monday of plea agreements involving 10 business owners, including a Tampa man, charged in the 2{-year investigation into 13 public housing complexes.

Richard Cross Jenkins, 43, of Tampa, owner of Quality Roofing of Florida, was charged with making false statements to HUD.

The charges carry maximum penalties of from one to five years in prison and $100,000 to $250,000 in fines.

_ The Associated Press contributed to this report.