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Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Phiadelphia County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States District Attorney’s Office
Description: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania false claims act charge criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant, Dmitry Royzman, who was charged with illegally claiming subsidies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) while renting an apartment to his mother-in-law in violation of the program’s requirements.
The settlement resolves allegations that, between December 2008 and August 2020, Royzman rented a subsidized apartment to his mother-in-law in violation of the Housing Choice Voucher Program’s (“HCVP”) requirements. The HCVP is commonly known as Section 8 housing. In the settlement agreement, the United States alleges that Royzman participated as a landlord in the HCVP, a program whereby HUD provides rental subsidies for eligible low-income tenants who locate acceptable rental units on the private market. The government alleges that Royzman submitted documents to the Bucks County Housing Authority (which administers the HCVP in Bucks County) falsely certifying that the assisted tenant in Royzman’s rental property was not an immediate relative of the property’s owners. In fact, the sole tenant was Royzman’s mother-in-law, which precluded Royzman’s receipt of HCVP rental subsidies.
“HUD instituted the HCVP program to help low-income residents without other options obtain decent housing,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “Landlords who agree to participate in this program cannot manipulate it to give subsidized housing to their relatives. By investigating this case, we have put all landlords participating in the Section 8 program on notice that they cannot put relatives in apartments for which they are receiving HCVP funds.”
Williams added, “From the time that this matter was brought to his attention, Mr. Royzman committed himself to setting things right. We appreciate his cooperative approach and efforts toward rectifying the problem.”
“The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General is committed to working with the Department of Justice and community stakeholders to ensure that Federal funds intended to help low-income families are not wasted or misapplied,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Shawn Rice. “Today’s settlement underscores the government’s commitment to protecting the integrity of HUD programs against fraud, waste, or abuse.”
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, and by the Bucks County Housing Authority. For the United States Attorney’s Office, Assistant United States Attorney Colin Cherico handled the investigation and settlement.
Outcome: Settled for $128,000.00.
The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.