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Feds: Woodbury woman created false identity to receive housing benefits

A Woodbury woman was indicted on federal charges that she created an alternative identity to receive government payments to live in a low-income housing development here.

An indictment was unsealed Monday, July 16, alleging Oluremi George, 53, received more than $18,000 in low-income housing tax credits through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), according to a justice department news release. George was charged with five counts of Social Security fraud, four counts of making false statements and one count of passport fraud.

The indictment alleges George used the name "Victoria Avoola" and a fraudulently obtained Social Security number to establish an identity she used in filing for low-income housing at Pondview Townhomes on Woodduck Place. The development provides housing assistance to residents through HUD loans and low-income housing tax credits.

In order to live at a Pondview Townhomes unit, residents must make less than the federal annual tax credit income limit.

According to the indictment, George reported between 2008 and 2011 that her income would be within that range, which purported to be no higher than $31,995. However, George's actual income cleared at least $55,000 each of those years, according to the allegations.

The indictment also alleges that George used the Ayoola name in March 2009 to fraudulently obtain a Social Secuity number on an application for a Minnesota driver's license. The charges allege she used the same identity in applying for a passport.

If convicted on the passport charge, George faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Each of the other charges carries a five-year prison term.

The charges stemmed from an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Social Security Administration, HUD's Office of Inspector General, the U.S. State Department, and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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