A Weston couple have been charged with fraudulently obtained tens of thousands of dollars in Section 8 public housing subsidies and defrauded mortgage lenders of more than $250,000 dollars, the attorney general’s office said.
A Middlesex grand jury returned indictments Tuesday against Paulo Montenegro, 45, and his wife, Rosana Pereira, 48, Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement. The couple is scheduled to be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn on Feb. 15.
Authorities allege that Montenegro and Pereira misrepresented information to the Cambridge Housing Authority to obtain the benefit of Section 8 public housing subsidies.
Pereira, in conspiracy with Montenegro, under-reported her income and assets, and reported that she was unmarried, when in fact she was married to and living with Montenegro in Weston, the AG’s office said.
As a result, Pereira and Montenegro received the benefit of renting a three-bedroom apartment in Cambridge at a greatly reduced rate, while the Cambridge Housing Authority covered most of the rent.
Authorities also allege that for two years when the couple benefited from Section 8 public housing subsidies, they were not even living in the rented apartment; but in a Weston home that Montenegro had purchased for $860,000 dollars.
The AG's office goes on to say that while Pereira told the Cambridge Housing Authority that she had minimal income, she, with Montenegro, also stated to financial lending institutions that she earned at least $12,000 dollars monthly in order to obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in mortgage loans to purchase properties in Somerville and Medford.
The couple allegedly profited from the purchase and sale of properties to and from each other.
Authorities allege that while Pereira and Montenegro profited by more than $250,000 from these transactions, they made a minimal number of mortgage payments on one of the properties, and none on the other, instead allowing the both to quickly fall into foreclosure.
Montenegro and Pereira were each indicted on three counts of charges of larceny by false pretense, and three counts of conspiracy to commit larceny by false pretense, in connection with fraudulently obtaining Section 8 public housing benefits and fraudulently obtaining mortgage loans from financial lending institutions.
Neither Montenegro nor Pereira could be reached for comment.
“Public housing subsidies are critical and limited resources intended to help disadvantaged families obtain affordable and safe housing,” Coakley said. “Individuals who cheat the system for their own personal benefit will be prosecuted and held accountable.”