Former Newark Cop Admits Cheating Federal Public Housing Program

NEWARK – A former Newark police officer admitted today that he conspired with another individual to fraudulently obtain payments under the federal public housing assistance program known as “Section 8,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Suliaman Kamara, 31, of Newark, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to one count of agreeing with another individual to obtain Section 8 public housing benefits to which they were not entitled.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The Section 8 Program is a federal public housing assistance program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide rent subsidies to qualified low-income individuals. HUD provided federal grant money to the Newark Housing Authority (NHA) for the Section 8 Program. Under the NHA’s Section 8 Program, a tenant’s rental assistance was based upon the tenant’s anticipated family gross income. Tenants receiving Section 8 assistance from the NHA had to inform the Newark Housing Authority of all the members of the household and the annual household income.

From September 2006 to December 2011, Suliaman Kamara, then a Newark police officer, lived in Newark with another individual (S.L.) who was receiving Section 8 benefits. For most of that time they lived in a property owned by Kamara. They agreed they would not disclose to the NHA that they were living together so that Kamara’s income would not be taken into account in determining whether S.L. qualified for Section 8 benefits. Kamara and S.L. submitted fraudulent information and documents to the NHA where they failed to disclose that Kamara lived with S.L and was earning household income. Kamara and S.L. obtained more than $60,000 in Section 8 benefits to which they were not entitled.

The charge to which Kamara pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 12.

Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cary Rubenstein, for the investigation of this case.

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