FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Brooklyn Woman Indicted for Grand Larceny
For Stealing Approximately $157,000 in Section 8 Subsidies
Defendant Allegedly Used Another Person’s Social Security Number to Conceal Income,
Employment from NYCHA While Collecting Rent Assistance for Crown Heights Home
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Jocelyn E. Strauber, today announced that a Brooklyn woman has been indicted for grand larceny for allegedly obtaining more than $157,000 in Section 8 rent subsidies to which she was not entitled. As part of the alleged decade-long fraud, the defendant used another person’s Social Security number to conceal her employment and income from the New York City Housing Authority while collecting rent assistance vouchers for a two-bedroom apartment in Crown Heights.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “For over a decade – and at a time when affordable housing in Brooklyn is increasingly scarce – this defendant allegedly lied about her income and employment to obtain thousands of dollars annually in rent subsidies to which she was not entitled. In doing so, she stole precious resources intended to help low-income New Yorkers find housing, and we will now seek to hold her accountable for that. I want to thank DOI and the Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General for their assistance in this case.”
Commissioner Strauber said, “For over a decade, this defendant made false statements about her employment and income to NYCHA in order to obtain more than $155,000 in Section 8 benefits she was not entitled to and provided NYCHA with someone else’s Social Security number to avoid detection, according to the charges. Theft of housing benefits diverts these important public resources from New Yorkers who are in need, and who qualify for them. I thank NYCHA and the Office of the Inspector General for the United States Social Security Administration for their assistance in this investigation; and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for its partnership in protecting New York City’s affordable housing.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Luzmila Corbin, 56, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dineen Riviezzo on an indictment in which she is charged with first-degree identity theft, second-degree grand larceny, first-degree falsifying business records and 17 counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. She was released without bail and ordered to return to court on February 7, 2024.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, the defendant started receiving rental-assistance vouchers, known as Section 8, in February 2001. The defendant used the vouchers to rent a two-bedroom apartment on Rochester Avenue in Crown Heights. From 2009 to 2021, it is alleged the defendant claimed to be unemployed in her annual Affidavit of Income submitted to the New York City Housing Authority. In reality, however, the defendant was allegedly working as a food services aide at New York City Health and Hospitals where she made $34,000 to $59,000 a year.
Furthermore, according to the investigation, the defendant allegedly used another person’s Social Security Number to prevent NYCHA from verifying her income. As a result of the fraud, in 2022, for example, the defendant paid only $212 of the apartment’s monthly rent of $1,654. The remaining balance was subsidized by NYCHA based on the defendant’s misrepresentation of her household income and assets. According to the investigation, between November 2010 and June 2022, NYCHA overpaid $157,493 in rent subsidies on the defendant’s behalf.
The case was investigated by DOI Assistant Inspector General Robert Joyce, under the supervision of Deputy Inspector General Gregory Deboer, Deputy Inspector General J. Graham Forbes, Executive Agency Counsel Laureen Hintz, Inspector General Ralph Iannuzzi, Deputy Commissioner of Strategic Initiatives Christopher Ryan and Deputy Commissioner/Chief of Investigations Dominick Zarrella.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Sara Walshe of the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Adam Libove, Deputy Chief of Public Integrity, and Assistant District Attorney Laura Neubauer, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michel Spanakos, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division, and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Chief of Investigations.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.