Former Groves apartment manager pleads guilty to theft of government property

Former Groves apartment manager pleads guilty to theft of government property

A 44-year-old Houston woman pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales July 26.

Nhung Tuyet Nguyen, also known as Sandy Nguyen, pleaded guilty to theft of government property before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn.

According to information presented in court, from October 2007 to December 2015, Nguyen was employed by the Beverly Place Apartments in Groves as an assistant manager. As part of her job responsibilities, Nguyen assisted potential tenants in applying for U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) benefits for rental assistance and utility assistance. The rental and utility assistance programs are designed to help low-income individuals offset housing rental and utility costs with funds provided by HUD. In June 2007, Nguyen began applying for HUD rental assistance and utility assistance benefits without the tenants’ knowledge or consent.  As a result, HUD provided funds to Beverly Place Apartments to cover tenants’ monthly rental fees. Nguyen required tenants, who were unaware HUD had already paid their monthly rent, to pay full market price for their apartments in cash or money orders. Nguyen would then take the cash or money orders and use them for her personal benefit. Nguyen enrolled at least five tenants in HUD rental and utility assistance programs without their knowledge.  As a result, Nguyen caused a total loss to HUD of $393,583.

Under federal statutes, Nguyen faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors, the U.S. Attorney's Office explained. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General and Homeland Security Investigations. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice.

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