Seven indicted in housing case

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 30, 2007


Seven local people indicted by a federal grand jury lied about their income to live in public housing.

If convicted of fraud, some of them may relocate to federal prison.

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A federal grand jury returned indictments Thursday against 10 individuals for theft of government funds. Federal prosecutors released their names in a news conference on the steps of the Federal Building in Selma.

All of the suspects allegedly paid little or no rent for more than two years by understating income or claiming to be unemployed, according to Greg Bordenkircher, acting U.S. attorney.

The indictments were a result of a yearlong investigation. Authorities didn’t say which areas of Selma the defendants lived in.

The Selma defendants are Tanya Anderson, Darnetta Doyle, Delandra Norris, Sophia Hill, Judice Ann Caver, Sabrina McNeill and Jackie Eaton. No ages or addresses were provided.

Three other defendants were Stephanie Fields of Bay Minette, Lynnita Armstead of Greenville and, Ethel Howze of Prichard, who was employed by the United States Postal Service.

An estimated $60,000 in fraud was committed collectively among the 10 defendants, government prosecutors claimed.

The 10 will be arraigned before a federal magistrate in Mobile within two weeks. Each of them faces up to 10 years in prison, depending on previous criminal involvement, federal prosecutors said.

There are about 600 people on a waiting list for one of the apartments, she said.