Former Roxse Homes Worker Sentenced for Taking Bribes

BOSTON – (RealEstateRama) — The former assistant property manager of Roxse Homes, a subsidized housing development in Boston, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston for his role in a scheme to rent apartments at the housing development to individuals who were not qualified in exchange for cash bribes.

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Mathis Lemons, 42, of Brockton, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris to two years in prison, one year of supervised release and ordered to pay forfeiture of $18,300. In May 2016, Lemons pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and seven counts each of corrupt receipt of payments by a federally funded organization. His co-defendant, Ismael Morales, pleaded guilty to the same charges and was sentenced in August 2016 to two years in prison.

Lemons was the assistant property manager and Morales worked as a maintenance technician for Roxse Homes, a subsidized housing development on Tremont Street in Roxbury. At Roxse Homes, eligible low-income families and individuals can obtain rental housing for a subsidized rate with Section 8 housing benefits from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2014, there was a shortage of federally subsidized Section 8 housing in Massachusetts, and Roxse Homes maintained a long waitlist of applicants desiring apartments in the complex. The Roxse Homes waitlist had been closed to external applicants since 2009.

From September 2014 to February 2015, Lemons and Morales conspired to rent apartments to individuals who were not eligible for subsidized Roxse Homes apartments because they were not on the waitlist. Morales solicited and accepted money from individuals, and provided those individuals with blank rental applications. Morales also instructed some of the individuals not to date their applications, or to date their applications in 2006 or 2009, when in fact the applications were completed in 2014. Lemons then added the unqualified individuals to the Roxse Homes computerized waitlist, and falsely inputted their application dates as 2006 or 2009.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, New York Regional Office; Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Glenn A. Cunha, Inspector General of Massachusetts; and Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristina E. Barclay and Eugenia M. Carris of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.

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