2008-05-16 / Top Stories

Three Locals Busted For Defrauding City

Each Stole Thousands In Rent Subsidies
By Howard Schwach

Three Rockaway residents have been arrested in separate incidents in recent weeks on charges that they concealed household income and, as a result, fraudulently obtained Section 8 rent subsidies for apartments in local neighborhoods, a spokesperson for the city's Department of Investigations (DOI) said.

The three were identified by DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hern as Larry Thomas, Felicita Jaume and Miriam Pitts.

Thomas, 59, of Beach 56 Place in Arverne, is charged with grand larceny and four counts of falsifying business records. According to Hern, Thomas received Section 8 subsidies administered by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) from 2000 to 2007, concealing his wife's presence in the apartment and her salary as a school safety officer. He is charged with illegally taking $51,870 in subsidies fraudulently.

Jaume, 47, of Beach 59 Street, is charged with grand larceny and three counts of falsifying business records for illegally taking between $8,760 and $66,255 annually between 2003 and 2006. The DOI says that Jaume failed to report her son's income as a carpenter when applying for the subsidy.

Both Thomas and Jaume were arrested on May 13.

Pitts, 57, of Rockaway Beach Boulevard, was arrested in April and has been charged with grand larceny and filing false business records. She allegedly concealed her employment as a billing clerk at a medical office, which averaged approximately $30,000 a year and, as a result, defrauded the city of $19,770.

Each faces up to seven years in prison if found guilty of all charges.

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