WILMINGTON, Del. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment on February 13, 2020, charging a Baltimore, Maryland woman with one count of theft from a Wilmington company receiving federal funds.
According to the indictment, April Pritchett, 37, engaged in a scheme to defraud her former employer, referred to as Company A in the indictment, a property management and development company based in Wilmington, Delaware. Company A receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) Project-Based Section 8 Rental Assistance Program, which supports low-income individuals in paying rent for otherwise unaffordable housing units.
According to the indictment, Pritchett worked as a property manager for two of Company A’s properties from 2015 through mid-2019. Pritchett engaged in a scheme to defraud Company A by collecting tenant rent payments in the form of money orders and changing the payee field to reflect her own name. Pritchett then deposited over $95,000 of these money orders, meant for rent, into her personal bank account and used the stolen rent payments to fund international vacations, plastic surgery, and clothing purchases. Pritchett hid her fraud by making false statements to Company A’s management to explain mounting rent delinquencies and making false entries into Company A’s tenant management system.
Pritchett is charged with Theft from a Program Receiving Federal Funds. If convicted, Pritchett faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, made the announcement and gave the following comment, “The defendant is charged with abusing the trust of her employer and the tenants who entrusted her with their rent payments by diverting those funds for her personal use. My office is committed to prosecuting those who defraud Delaware businesses, particularly when those businesses are themselves partially funded with taxpayer dollars designed to assist low-income citizens in securing housing.”
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lesley F. Wolf and Ruth E. Mandelbaum.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER.