Former housing authority employee admits taking bribes
March 20, 2017
• Pleads guilty in Fresno federal court
• Took bribes from applicants for housing benefits
Aryca Danieyelle Williams, 38, of Fresno, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of extortion under color of official right, according to U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert.
Ms. Williams was a housing program coordinator at the Fresno Housing Authority from 2007 through 2013. The Fresno Housing Authority is a state agency responsible for administering federal housing benefits programs, such as the Section 8 housing choice voucher program. To obtain housing benefits, applicants must put their names in a lottery system, which is supposed to randomly award benefits to qualified applicants.
As a coordinator, Ms. Williams was responsible for managing the files of housing assistance applicants.
But she wanted some grease applied to smooth things out – grease in the form of bribes, according to court documents.
She solicited bribes from housing applicants and promised to switch their names with the names of individuals who had been legitimately selected to receive housing benefits. In switching the names, Ms. Williams enabled the applicants to bypass the lottery system and immediately qualify to receive housing benefits.
The bribes included a $1,150 payment to her landlord and a $500 payment to her utility company. In total, Ms. Williams got bribes from 10 to 12 housing applicants.
Ms. Williams is scheduled to be sentenced on June 19 by U.S. District Judge Dale Drozd at which time she will face a possible maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.