The Section 8 housing voucher program provides opportunities to low-income tenants looking to rent an apartment or another dwelling. The federal program also presents opportunities to Missouri landlords, as the government payments could deliver a steady flow of rental income. Unfortunately, both landlords and tenants could engage in fraud to cheat the system. Doing so could get the person into legal trouble.
Examples of Section 8 fraud
People commit Section 8 fraud in many ways, with concealing assets and forging documents being two typical schemes. A would-be tenant could lie about assets and earnings to gain a benefit illegally. Such fraud might result in criminal charges.
Landlords must handle their dealings honestly, and forgery, bribery, and kickback schemes could get them in serious trouble. Landlords might have other obligations, such as keeping records. Destroying vital records might leave them open to other troubles.
Some people make honest mistakes, and errors and oversights may open landlords and tenants to investigations. An investigation might result in enough evidence to bring forth an indictment. At that point, the accused could look at jail time.
Claims of illegal behavior
Whistleblowers may inform representatives at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development of fraudulent actions. Regrettably, not all whistleblower reports are accurate. Someone may “speculate” about fraud or outright lie, leaving innocent people facing accusations of a white-collar crime.
Juries must find a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. So, weak cases could fall apart if the evidence is insufficient. Those investigated for criminal actions may find it best to invoke their right to remain silent. A frequent error suspects make involves giving investigators self-incriminating statements.