Former Alexander County, Illinois Housing Authority officials accused of misusing funds

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has filed a fraud complaint against two former Alexander County, Illinois Housing Authority officials.

HUD claims that former ACHA Executive Director James Wilson and former ACHA Finance Director and Executive Director Martha Franklin submitted false documentation to the federal government and used public housing funds for personal travel and gifts.

The complaint alleges that Wilson and Franklin “knowingly overstated their travel expenses.” This includes double-charging for travel expenses such as hotel stays in Las Vegas, personal meals and alcohol, and gifts to housing authority staff.

HUD is seeking 125 civil penalties against Wilson and Franklin totaling $720,000 and another $188,000 in assessments based upon alleged false claims made by the two.

“Every dollar misspent on personal travel and other expenses is a dollar that could support the individuals and families we serve,” said Dane Narode, Associate General Counsel of HUD’s Office of Program Enforcement.  “Taxpayers deserve to know that the public programs they support are helping to meet the needs of the many, not the few.”

You can read HUD’s full complaint against Wilson and Franklin below.

This is not the first run in for HUD with the Alexander Housing Authority. Last year, HUD took over for the Housing Alexander Housing Authority on a housing crisis in Cairo.

HUD is trying to move roughly 200 families from the Elmwood and McBride housing units to new homes. HUD decided to tear the units down due to substandard and dangerous living conditions.

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