Guilty pleas in Cotton Plant housing authority fraud | Arkansas Blog

Friday, September 2, 2016

Guilty pleas in Cotton Plant housing authority fraud

Posted By on Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 3:04 PM

The Justice Department announced today that a Des Arc couple, Rhonda Williams, 50, and her husband, Gary Williams, 59, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering in taking federally supplied money from the Cotton Plant Housing Authority.

Rhonda Williams was executive director of the Housing Authority and Gary Williams was its maintenance supervisor.

From Jan. 31, 2001 through the end of 2014, the U.S. attorney's office said, the Williams made misrepresentations for money paid from the Housing Authority bank account, solicited and accepted bribes and kickbacks from Housing Authority contractors, used Housing Authority credit cards for personal expenses and took Housing Authority equipment and materials to build a personal residence.

In a plea agreement, the defendants agreed they'd received more than $52,000 in the conspiracy, but a news release said the full extent of the loss will be litigated at sentencing, which is not yet scheduled.

The information indicates the couple bought a $32,000 Tahoe with money from the Authority bank account and it is to be taken by government.

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