Man charged with taking housing money, lying about income

Published 5:49 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Calera man faces charges of lying about his income to receive federal housing assistance.

Destany Dishone Blair Evans, 29, has been indicted on five counts of stealing government property and making false statements.

Federal prosecutors say Evans received help from the Housing Authority of the City of Montevallo after he reported false information about his employment.

Evans submitted housing applications in 2006 and 2007 in which he claimed that he didn’t earn any income.

That wasn’t true, the United State Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) later found out.

In total, Evans received more than $7,000 in government aid, which would not have been provided had he reported his actual income, prosecutors allege.

“We take theft from the government seriously as it deprives those legitimately in need of assistance,” said U.S. attorney Alice H. Martin.

If convicted, Evans faces different prison terms and fines, depending on the charge.

The theft of government property charges carry a prison sentence of not more than 10 years and a fine up to $250,000.

The making false statements to a government agency charges carry a prison sentence of not more than five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.

“HUD … is committed to ensuring taxpayers’ dollars are put to good use and HUD programs are free from waste, fraud and abuse,” said Kenneth M. Donohue, HUD inspector general.

Donohue hopes the charges send a clear message that “those who seek to unlawfully profit by defrauding programs within HUD will be vigorously prosecuted.”