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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Boston Woman Convicted of Stealing $135,000 in Public Housing Benefits

BOSTON – A Boston woman pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing over $135,000 in public housing benefits, which she obtained by lying about her living situation and employment.

Astride Dubuisson, 42, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to an Information charging her with stealing public money.  U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for April 9, 2015.

In 2006, Dubuisson applied to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for housing benefits, claiming that she needed help paying rent for an apartment on Vernon Street in Hyde Park.  In fact, Dubuisson owned the entire Vernon Street building, which would disqualify her from receiving benefits.  Based on her falsehoods, HUD approved her application and began sending benefits checks to a fabricated landlord.  From 2006 to 2013, Dubuisson cashed those government checks, which totaled more than $135,000, and repeatedly lied about her ownership of the property and her income.

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gain or loss, whichever is greater.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Cary Rubenstein, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, New York Regional Office, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Eric P. Christofferson of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

Updated January 9, 2015