Palm Beach News

Palm Beach County Housing Authority Workers Arrested, Assistant Director Charged Eightfold

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.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley