Former head of New Jersey housing authority gets 3 years probation for embezzling HUD funds

The former executive director of a New Jersey housing authority received a sentence of three years probation for embezzling money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and using the funds for personal expenses.

Alesia Watson, the former executive director of the Ocean City Housing Authority, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of embezzling federal funds received from HUD and administered by OCHA to which she was not entitled.

According to court documents, as OCHA’s executive director, Watson had access to two credit cards that were designated for use for OCHA. Using those credit cards, Watson purchased 69 MasterCard gift cards between December 2013 and March 2015.

Watson used those gift cards to pay for personal expenses or gave them to friends and family members.

Court documents showed that Watson then used federal funds received from HUD to pay the credit card bills that included the purchase of the gift cards.

According to the plea agreement, the loss associated with the embezzlement was more than $6,500 but less than $15,000. As part of the plea, Watson was ordered to pay restitution of $8,050.

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