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Office of the
Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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January 30, 2024

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced that a Cook County woman the Attorney General’s office prosecuted was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay restitution for defrauding the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and misappropriating government benefits.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Neera Walsh sentenced Catherine Brown, 49, of Chicago, to four years of probation. Brown, who previously pleaded guilty to Class 1 felony theft of governmental property, was ordered to pay $86,000 in restitution. Brown has already paid $50,000 in restitution.

“Today’s sentence recoups taxpayer funds for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which provides important housing benefits to residents in need,” Raoul said. “I am committed to ensuring that individuals are held accountable for exploiting government programs for personal gain, particularly when families are waitlisted until the support they deserve is available.”

Brown was a participant in the CHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program when she became a joint owner of the property for which the CHA subsidized her rent. According to Raoul, Brown submitted documents to the CHA that omitted her ownership interest to obtain CHA benefits to which she was not entitled.

The case was investigated by the CHA Inspector General’s office.

“The CHA Inspector General’s Office is gratified that a substantial portion of the stolen funds will be returned to the CHA to provide housing assistance to those actually in need,” said Kathryn Richards, Inspector General at the Chicago Housing Authority. “Those who seek to defraud the CHA only harm those in our community who desperately need safe, affordable housing. We are grateful to the Illinois Attorney General’s office for prosecuting this case.”

Assistant Attorney General Haley Bookhout prosecuted the case for Raoul’s Public Integrity Bureau.