HARRISBURG, PA – April 15, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — The former director of the Venango County Housing Authority was arrested today by public corruption agents from the Attorney General’s Office on charges that he illegally diverted nearly $180,000 of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds for his personal use.
Attorney General Tom Corbett identified the defendant as Edwin Evans, 64, 152 Parker Ave., Franklin, Venango County. Evans served as the Executive Director of the Venango County Housing Authority from 1978 to April 2005. He also served as President of the Venango Housing Corporation Board of Directors from 1982 to April 2005.
Corbett noted that the Housing Authority provides safe and affordable housing for lower-income families, the elderly and disabled.
According to the criminal complaint, Evans diverted HUD funds, which were supposed to support the mission of the Venango Housing Authority, into several bank accounts and utilized the money for personal items.
According to the criminal complaint, Evans used the authority of his public position to routinely use the Housing Authority’s corporate bank account to issue himself payments in his name or on his behalf for personal insurance premiums and investment annuities.
Additionally, he had payments made to at least 11 different insurance providers for personal policies, a country club and a motor club.
The criminal complaint states that the Venango Housing Authority maintained three separate lines of credit with American Express and Evans maintained sole control of each one.
Agents found that Evans allegedly used the Venango Housing Authority’s line of credit for personal expenditures including clothing, groceries, pharmacy expenses, food and beverages, paint supplies, gasoline, annual membership fees, dental/orthodontic services, professional services, landscaping and general merchandise from Walmart.
Corbett said that Evans also allegedly issued a company check to an attorney as a retainer for legal services.
Evans is charged with one count of theft by unlawful taking, one count of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, one count of theft by deception and one count of access device fraud. Each count is a third degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Additionally, he is charged with conflict of interest, an ungraded felony punishable by up to five years in prison and misapplication of entrusted property and property of government or financial institutions a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Evans was preliminarily arraigned before Pleasantville Magisterial District Judge Andrew Fish. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 21, 2010 at 1:30 p.m.
The case will be prosecuted in Venango County by Senior Deputy Attorney General L. Todd Goodwin.