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Department of justice

United States Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr.


Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Barbara Burns


NOVEMBER 4, 2019 PHONE: (716) 843-5817
www.usdoj.gov/usao/nyw FAX #: (716) 551-3051

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ROCHESTER HOUSING AUTHORITY EMPLOYEE


CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING
ROCHESTER HOUSING CHARITIES AND OBSTRUCTION

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a
Janice White, 58, of Rochester, NY, was charged by criminal complaint with defrauding
and conspiring to defraud the Rochester Housing Charities and with obstructing the
government’s investigation. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison
and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard A. Resnick, who is handling the case, stated that
according to the complaint, the defendant is the Executive Secretary for the Director of the
Rochester Housing Authority (RHA) and the previous Board Secretary for the Rochester
Housing Charities (RHC). Previously, White also acted as a bookkeeper for RHC and
recorded the minutes for the RHC board meetings.

The RHA, which has an annual contract with the United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development, provides housing opportunities and services for the
Rochester community. The RHA formed the RHC to assist in advancing the purposes of
the RHA.

HJJ Property Development (HJJ Property) was a business started on March 9, 2018,
with an address of 21 Bock Street in Rochester. The business is owned by Margaret and
Howard Jones Jr., the defendant’s mother and stepfather, but White actually controlled HJJ
Property.
According to the complaint, White, on behalf of HJJ Property, billed the RHC for
worked never performed by HJJ Property. The defendant submitted false invoices on behalf
of HJJ Property totaling approximately $87,069.00.

White is alleged to have prepared a fraudulent invoice from HJJ Property addressed
to the RHC which made it appear that HJJ Property had provided services to the RHC.
Despite HJJ Property providing no services to the RHC, the defendant caused the RHC to
pay HJJ Property the amount contained on the fraudulent invoice.

On other occasions, a contractor would provide the RHC with an estimate for
services to be performed for the RHC. Both the person who approved the hiring of vendors
for the RHC (RHC Agent) and the defendant would receive a copy of the invoice. White
would then prepare a fraudulent invoice from HJJ Property addressed to the RHC, which
made it falsely appear that HJJ Property would be providing the services to the RHC that
were actually going to be performed by the contractor. The amount requested to be paid on
the HJJ Property fraudulent invoice would be more than what the contractor had originally
requested for such services. The defendant or the RHC Agent would then email HJJ
Property’s fraudulent invoice to an RHC employee who would submit the invoice for
payment to the RHC. The RHC Agent would authorize the RHC to pay HJJ Property the
fraudulent amount. White, on behalf of HJJ Property, would then provide a cashier’s check
made payable to the contractor in the amount that the contractor had originally estimated
and requested for the services it performed for the RHC. The difference between what the
RHC paid HJJ Property and what HJJ Property paid the contractor, was the amount that
the defendant and others caused the RHC fraudulently to overpay. Between March and July
2018, that amount was approximately $48,698.00.

On December 14, 2018, HJJ Property was served a Federal Grand Jury subpoena
requesting any and all records related to HJJ Property and any work HJJ Property
purportedly performed on behalf of the RHC. On February 7, 2019, HJJ Property provided
its response to the subpoena. Included in that response were three fraudulent documents
which purported to be satisfaction surveys signed by various tenants from three apartment
complexes owned by the RHC, pertaining to work performed at such sites by HJJ
Property. Also included in the subpoena response was a fraudulent invoice. The surveys
and invoice were fraudulent in that they were prepared after the subpoena was served on
HJJ Property and were produced in response to the subpoena to make it appear to
investigators that HJJ Property was a legitimate company which had performed services
for the RHC.
“Janice White is the third defendant to be charged with scheming to defraud the
Rochester Housing Authority and related organizations,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy.
“The very purpose of a housing agency, funded with federal dollars, is to provide a stable
housing environment for those in our community who need assistance. When individuals
entrusted to operate and run such an agency divert funds away from the laudable purposes
for which such monies were earmarked and into their own pockets, the entire community
is forced to pay a heavy price. This prosecution demonstrates the commitment that my
Office has to rooting out corruption, to eliminating those who place their own interests
before those of the public whom they are supposed to serve, and, in the process, to restoring
the public trust.”

Charges remain pending against George Moses, former Chairman of the Board of
Commissioners of the Rochester Housing Authority. Former Rochester City Councilman
Adam McFadden pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing a false tax return for his role in
scheming to defraud the Rochester Housing Authority, and is awaiting sentencing.

White made an initial appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian
W. Payson and was released.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of


Investigation, Rochester Office, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary
Loeffert; the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General,
under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Brad Geary; and the Internal Revenue
Service, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of Jonathan D. Larsen,
Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and
the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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