This case puts students in the role of Assistant United States Attorneys in the Criminal Division for the Southern District of New York (USAO) and asks them to decide whether to indict a public housing tenant who moved into Section 8 housing on false pretenses. Section 8 housing involves government vouchers that pay for part of the rent in privately‐owned housing based on need. Because of budget limitations, many more people qualify for Section 8 certificates than can obtain them. The tenant in this case lied about her income on government forms when she applied for Section 8 housing and has received Section 8 money for quite some time. She may be guilty of violating a federal statute prohibiting embezzlement and a second statute prohibiting making false statements to the government, possibly subjecting her to either a misdemeanor (less than one year incarceration) or felony conviction (more than a year). Two questions arise. First, we must determine whether to charge her with a criminal violation and, if so, under which statute and whether for a misdemeanor or a felony. Second, if we choose to indict, then an internal procedure of the USAO's office allows deferred prosecution if proposed by the defense attorney, which is in effect a kind of supervised probation which, if successfully completed, would result in never charging her with a crime. So the second issue, if we choose to indict, is whether to agree to the deferred prosecution process.
Public housing, criminal prosecution, criminal law, government
Geographic: United States, New York
Industry: Public housing, government
Event Year Begin: 2009
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