Former housing authority official pleads guilty to $633K embezzlement of federal rent subsidies

Date Published: 
May 7, 2018
News Type: 
Program Area(s): 
Public and Indian Housing

(Source:Times of Northwest Indiana) HAMMOND — A former official of the Hammond Housing Authority has pleaded guilty to embezzling $633,628 in federal housing assistance money.

U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II announced Friday morning he charged Michelle Seljan, 47, of Hammond, last month with theft of federal funds and tax evasion.

She pleaded guilty April 27 before U.S. District Court Judge Jon E. DeGuilio in South Bend to both felony counts and faces sentencing Aug. 23.

Kirsch said Seljan, a former coordinator in the house authority's Section 8 housing subsidies department, diverted into her private banking accounts federal money she was supposed to be distributing to qualifying landlords.

Kirsch also said Seljan avoided paying $201,696 in federal income taxes by under reporting her income.

Kirsch has agreed to recommend she receive a reduced sentence in return for her cooperation. She has agreed to reimburse the federal government for the entire loss.

“Ms. Seljan betrayed the public trust by using her position with the Hammond Housing Authority for her own private gain," Kirsch said. "Citizens deserve honest public servants who will efficiently carry out the mission of their agencies. Along with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to investigate and prosecute public corruption across the Northern District of Indiana.”.....