James B. Comey, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation today announced the fifth conviction in connection with fraudulently submitted Residential Grant applications. Jobim Rose, 34, was originally arrested in April 2003 and pled guilty on Thursday, April 15, 2004 to a four count indictment charging mail fraud, theft of government funds, and making false statements in connection with multiple unrelated frauds.
Lower Manhattan Development Corporation President Kevin M. Rampe said, "I am so pleased with the outcome of this investigation. The LMDC has been working diligently to ensure that only fully eligible individuals receive these grants. We will continue to work with the U.S Attorney's Office to prosecute any individual who inappropriately applied for, and received these funds."
According to the September 24, 2002 complaint, Rose submitted an application to the LMDC for a September 11, 2001 Residential Grant and a Two-Year Commitment-Based federal grant; both made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist Lower Manhattan residents in the wake of the September 11th attacks. In his application, Rose certified that he currently lived, and intended to live at 310 Greenwich, a Mitchell Lama building, for two-years. Based on the information provided, LMDC approved Rose's application which made him eligible to receive a total of $5,316 in grant money - a one-time grant of $1,000 and $179.85 per month for a two-year period.
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development began investigating this matter after receiving an anonymous tip from the Residential Grant Fraud Prevention Hotline. As the investigation moved forward it was determined that that Rose was not, and did not reside at 310 Greenwich Street on or after September 11, 2001. Instead, he was illegally subletting the apartment to another individual while residing in a Bronx apartment Rose owned.
After the initial Residential Grant indictment, the HUD IG's office continued to uncover additional fraudulent claims made by Rose in an attempt to exploit the September 11th tragedy, as well as his insurance carrier. Rose made false statements to FEMA regarding the sublet at 310 Greenwich and claimed to his insurance carrier that he resided and garaged his vehicle in Poughkeepsie. Sentencing is scheduled for August 20, 2004. Rose faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 and a $250,000 fine for each account. The LMDC is expecting to the court to award full restitution of the $4,417 Rose received.
The Residential Grant Program was launched in August 2002, to provide assistance to residents and families who lived downtown on September 11, 2001 and continue to reside in Lower Manhattan, as well as offer financial incentives to new residents who make a two-year commitment to live downtown. The $281 million Residential Grant Program is part of a $2 billion grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Program.