BOSTON – A Maine woman pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing federal housing benefits from at least December 2004 through February 2020.
Rebecca Amelia Cranford, 63, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds. U.S. District Court Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Aug. 17, 2023. Cranford was arrested and charged in September 2021.
In the early 2000s, Cranford was engaged by the owners of a vacation home in Wellfleet to look after the property in their absence. Instead of merely looking after the property, Cranford applied for federal housing subsidies pretending to be a tenant living at the property while separately directing the housing subsidies to a business entity incorporated in her own name and listed as the landlord for the property on the housing application. In total, Cranford stole approximately $113,067 in housing assistance benefits.
The charge of theft of government funds provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Regional Field Office, made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Maine State Police and Cumberland County (Maine) Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Deitch of Levy’s Criminal Division is prosecuting the case.