Former Executive Director of Luna Pier Housing Commission Pleads Guilty to Theft of Commission Funds
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 08, 2011|
Kay Jean Axel, 56, of Erie, Michigan, pleaded guilty today to stealing more than $32,000 from the Luna Pier Housing Commission (LPHC) while she was employed as its Executive Director, announced United State Attorney Barbara L. McQuade. Ms. McQuade was joined in this announcement by Breck J. Nowlin, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General and Andrew G. Arena, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Defendant Axel admitted in court today that between January, 2007 and January, 2010, she used LPHC credit and debit cards to make purchases for her personal use totaling in excess of $32,000.
Under the terms of the agreement, Axel faces a maximum penalty of 16 months’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. She must also pay restitution in the amount of $32,000 to the Luna Pier Housing Commission. Sentencing has been set for March 5, 2012 at 10:00a.m..
“We are focusing on prosecuting corruption at all levels of government,” McQuade said. “We want public officials to think twice before they steal money from taxpayers.”
Special Agent in Charge Breck J. Nowlin stated, “This plea today clearly represents the commitment of federal law enforcement to aggressively root out the misuse of public trust. Public Housing officials, whether in the larger cities or rural town, are public servants and must serve the public; not use their position to benefit or serve themselves.”
Special Agent Andrew G. Arena, stated, “This case is another example of a public servant abusing the trust bestowed on them by their community. It should be abundantly clear to all public officials that the FBI is committed to eradicating such behavior.”
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.