Former Program Manager Of Twin Cities Nonprofit Sentenced To Prison For Fraud, False Statements | USAO-MN

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the sentencing of CLARISSA LYNN COMBS, 49, to 71 months in prison for conspiring to commit wire fraud and making a false statement. COMBS, who pleaded guilty on December 4, 2019, was sentenced today before Senior Judge David S. Doty in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A total of 12 defendants have pleaded guilty and been sentenced for their roles in the conspiracy. 

“Ms. Combs orchestrated a years-long fraud scheme that diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars from some of the most vulnerable members of society, including individuals and families in need of housing. I applaud the work of our investigative partners in bringing this conspiracy to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald.

“The FBI will pursue those who plan, scheme and defraud charities for their own personal gain,” said Michael Paul, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office. “The men and women of the FBI work hard every day to identify and apprehend those responsible for such crimes that simply will not be tolerated.”

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed with the court, between April 2012 and February 2019, COMBS, a former program manager for a Twin Cities non-profit organization that provides housing and related services to the homeless, and multiple co-conspirators, devised and participated in a scheme to fraudulently obtain at least $684,081.90 in charitable funds from the organization. As part of the scheme, COMBS recruited other employees of the non-profit, as well as her family and friends, to pose as landlords and fictitious homeless clients. During the course of the investigation, COMBS tried to conceal the scheme and minimize her involvement by making false statements to Special Agents of the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and a United States Postal Inspector.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, the FBI, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Assistant United States Attorney Miranda E. Dugi prosecuted the case.

Defendant Information:

CLARISSA LYNN COMBS, 49

Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 1 count
  • False statements, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 71 months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release
  • $684,081.90 in restitution

 

SHANEKA LASHAY MZEE, 36

St. Paul, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Two years of probation
  • $ 26,865.00 in restitution

 

LETEASTE HENRY-DAVIS, 56

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Two years of probation
  • $12,400.00 in restitution

 

SHARRÉ OPHILIA RUSH, 34

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Two years of probation
  • $35,843.25 in restitution

 

AISHA LENEE DAVIS, 42

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Two years of probation
  • $87,740.65 in restitution

 

JALONDA LEEANN COMBS, 38

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Three years of probation
  • $117,633.00 in restitution

 

RACHAEL ELIZABETH EKHOLM, 41

Richfield, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Six months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release
  • $109,080.00 in restitution

 

BRIDGIT YVETTE MICHAUD, 54

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Three years of probation
  • $89,000.00 in restitution

 

AUDREY SEBILETTA HEATH, 35

Ramsey, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Two years of probation
  • $14,650.00 in restitution

 

AISHIA RENEE BELL, 43

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 24 months in prison
  • Two years of supervised release
  • $166,875.00 in restitution

 

ANTHONY JEROME OLIVER, 56

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Three years of probation
  • $76,600.00 in restitution

 

NEAL BURTON, 57

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Two years of probation
  • $15,785 in restitution

 

TYRONE LAMAR BURTON, 41

St. Paul, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 18 months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release
  • $166,785 in restitution

 

 

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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

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