A South Bend Housing Authority sign outside the agency's offices on Alonzo Watson Drive in South Bend
A South Bend Housing Authority sign outside the agency's offices on Alonzo Watson Drive in South Bend
SOUTH BEND -- Mayor James Mueller called the fraud charges brought against former employees and contractors of the Housing Authority of South Bend Housing "deeply troubling" but said he had no plans to make changes to the board that oversees the agency.

"The board does not have the level of control that a lot of people believe it does," Mueller said. "The decisions on financial and other pieces are run through the (U.S.) Department of Housing and Urban Development."

Tonya Robinson, the former executive director of the housing authority, and four others have been charged in a scheme that defrauded the federal government of millions of dollars.

More: Former South Bend Housing Authority director and 4 others indicted on fraud charges

They're accused of creating fraudulent housing authority payment checks for contracting work that was not actually done. The contractors cashed and deposited the checks, and they kicked back a portion of the money to Robinson and other authority employees, according to court documents.

The money came from requests to HUD for maintenance and repairs on authority-run properties, court records say.
Copyright © 2021, South Bend Tribune