Former Housing Authority of Bexar County Executive Director Pleads Guilty to Federal Embezzlement Charge
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 10, 2009|
United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced today that Laura Morales, former Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Bexar County (HABC) admitted in federal court this morning to stealing over $131,000 from the HABC.
Appearing before United States District Judge Fred Biery, Morales pleaded guilty to one count of theft from an agency receiving federal program funds. As a result, Morales faces up to 10 years in federal prison, a fine up to $250,000 and restitution to HABC.
According to court documents, Morales allegedly stole money from HABC’s Section 8 General Fund and the Bexar Springs Fund (the operating account for the Bexar Springs apartment complex run by the HABC) from November 2003, until June 2008. Under her scheme, Morales repeatedly granted herself annual leave that she had not earned. In addition, she fraudulently used a signature stamp of the HABC’s Board Chairman to sign checks written to herself on the two funds to compensate herself for the unearned leave. She ultimately deposited the monies into her own account and used them for her own personal expenses.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation together with the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted for the government by Assistant United States Attorneys Ray and LeRoy Jahn.