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More charges for ex-Rochester Housing Authority official

For the second time in a month, a federal grand jury has indicted the former board chairperson of the Rochester Housing Authority, George Moses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

This time, the grand jury returned a 55-count indictment against Moses that included the 28 charges previously issued against him in October.

The combined charges include varieties of fraud, identity theft, and filing false tax returns, all of which stem from various schemes to defraud Rochester Housing Charities, a subsidiary of the Housing Authority, and the Quad A for Kids after-school program, according to authorities.

Also charged was Janis White, the former secretary for the director of the Rochester Housing Authority. She faces 13 charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice.

The schemes Moses and White were alleged to have carried out were so numerous, complex, and intertwined that the news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office announcing them had difficulty untangling one from another.

“As alleged in the second superseding indictment, Mr. Moses used a variety of schemes unlawfully to divert public money to himself,” U.S. Attorney James Kennedy said in a prepared statement. “It is unfortunate he did not invest the same effort into his legitimate work on behalf of the public as apparently he did into the fraudulent schemes he used to enrich himself.”

Authorities allege Moses conspired with former City Council member Adam McFadden to defraud Quad A for Kids — of which McFadden was the executive director — with the help of a nonprofit neighborhood organization headed by Moses, the North East Area Development Association (NEAD). McFadden has already pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

Moses is also charged with defrauding Rochester Housing Charities through kickbacks.

In one scheme, according to authorities, Moses would cause the agency to overpay the salary of its executive director and then take a kick back on a portion of the excess wages.

In another plot, according to authorities, the agency paid an inflated amount for a contractor, of which Moses allegedly took a $25,000 cut.

Authorities believe White and Moses conspired to have Rochester Housing Charities pay a company controlled by White for work that was never performed.
The alleged scheme involved Moses hiring a contractor for services for Rochester Housing Charities, and he and White arranging to have the company controlled by White paid for those services. The pay, according to authorities, would be in excess of the actual cost of the work, which was done by the contractor.

White submitted false invoices on behalf of the company she controlled, HJJ Property, which was owned by her mother and stepfather, totaling roughly $87,000, according to authorities. The work performed by the contractor cost about $39,000, according to authorities.

Moses and White are scheduled to be arraigned in Federal District Court on Nov. 25 at 11 a.m.

David Andreatta is CITY"s Editor