Kechevella Wallace, assistant director of the Palm Beach County Housing Authority, has been arrested along with three other housing authority employees on fraud-related charges in an alleged apartment-renting scheme, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Wallace, 26, was supposed to manage the county's waiting list into its 712 public housing units. Instead, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office alleges, Wallace illegally received a discounted apartment for herself, then rented it out to others.
She also stands accused of illegally obtaining a housing voucher in Palm Beach County for her sister -- who lived in Tallahassee.
Over almost four years, Wallace managed to obtain $55,156 of public money she wasn't entitled to, according to the Post.
The three other housing authority employees -- including Wallace's other sister Teronda White -- have also been accused of being complicit in her scheme.
White, 28, is accused of signing off on some phony paperwork of her sister's, leading to her being charged with larceny, grand theft, and two counts of embezzlement by misappropriation of public funds, according to PBSO.
Stephanie Hales, 27, allegedly signed off on both White's and Wallace's voucher applications, which she was never allowed to do to begin with, let alone helping to fudge the numbers a bit. She faces one count of grand theft and one count of embezzlement by misappropriation of public funds.
Lastly is 58-year-old Victoria Larkins, who's also accused of signing off on paperwork without having the authority to do so. She's charged with one count of larceny and one count of embezzlement by misappropriation of public funds.
Wallace stands in a bit more trouble than the rest -- as she's the one who allegedly misused the vouchers to the tune of more than $55,000 to profit off renting an apartment to three men, including her ex-boyfriend -- and faces eight charges: three counts of embezzlement by misappropriation of public funds, two counts of larceny, and one count each of grand theft, aggravated white collar crime, and fraud by falsifying a public document, according to PBSO.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.