Niagara Falls Man Pleads Guilty to Theft of Public Money

September 27, 2013 Updated Sep 15, 2011 at 4:16 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Niagara Falls Man Pleads Guilty to Theft of Public Money

September 27, 2013 Updated Sep 15, 2011 at 4:16 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced Thursday that George McCray, 67, of Niagara Falls pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara, to theft of public money.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. McCray is scheduled to be sentenced January 13, 2012.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward H. White, who is handling the case, stated that between 2005 and 2010, McCray was a resident the Anthony Spallino Towers, a public housing unit in Niagara Falls.

During that time, McCray received rental assistance from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Eligibility for rental assistance through HUD is based on a family's gross income. For each year McCray completed his household income statement, he claimed his Social Security benefits as his only source of income, failing to include the Workmen's Compensation benefits he was receiving. McCray falsely understated his gross income in order to fraudulently receive a larger amount of HUD rental assistance benefits. As a result, the defendant received a total of $16,017 in additional subsidies from HUD that he was not entitled to receive.