Executive Director of Ocean City, New Jersey, Housing Authority Admits Embezzling Federal Funds

Date Published: 
May 8, 2017
News Type: 
Press Releases
Program Area(s): 
Public and Indian Housing

CAMDEN, N.J. – The executive director of the Ocean City, New Jersey, Housing Authority (OCHA) today admitted embezzling federal funds received by authority from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Alesia Watson, 54, of Galloway Township, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen M. Williams in Camden federal court to an information charging her with one count of embezzling federal funds received from HUD and administered by OCHA to which she was not entitled.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:

As executive director, Watson had access to two credit cards maintained by OCHA. From December 2013 through March 2015, Watson purchased 69 MasterCard gift cards using these two OCHA credit cards. She used the gift cards for personal expenses not associated with OCHA or provided them to friends and family members. Watson then used federal funds received from HUD and administered by OCHA to pay the credit card bills associated with the purchase of the gift cards. According to the plea agreement, the loss associated with the embezzlement was more than $6,500 but less than $15,000...