The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 3, 2012

Carthage property manager pleads guilty to $400,000 worth of fraud

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The manager of four Carthage apartment complexes pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to counts of wire fraud, money laundering and tax fraud stemming from her thefts of rent payments and hijacking of construction contracts.

Barbara J. Evans, 54, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty to the three counts in U.S. District Court in Springfield. She faces up to 43 years in prison without parole and a possible order of restitution, with a sentencing hearing to be scheduled once a pre-sentence investigation is done.

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Missouri puts the extent of the thefts and fraud committed by Evans at almost $400,000.

In her capacity as a property manager for Preservation Housing Management, a Boston-based company with an office in Kansas City, Evans supervised the Deerfield Village, Highland Acres, Highland Meadows and Maplewood Manor apartments in Carthage.

Between 2003 and 2011, Evans stole $206,069 by pocketing portions of rent payments made by tenants at Deerfield Village, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

She would calculate correctly the move-in rent amounts of low-income tenants eligible for federal rental subsidies. But when tenants reported an increase in income, she would delay reporting their corresponding increases in rent to PHM.

As a result, the prosecutor’s office said, the tenants would pay correct, higher rental amounts to Evans, but she would continue providing the lower amounts to the company, keeping the difference for herself.

In carrying out the scheme, she would cash or deposit tenants’ rent payments into her own bank account and then buy money orders for lesser amounts. She then forged the tenants’ signatures on the money orders and represented them as their rent payments to PHM.

Evans also steered $191,922 worth of construction work at the four apartment complexes to a single contractor between 2006 and 2009 in violation of PHM’s own competitive bidding policy, the U.S. attorney’s office said. She was reprimanded by PHM in 2006, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

But, just four months later, in September 2006, Evans created A.J. Construction and began submitting bids and invoices to PHM for work at all four apartment complexes.

PHM policy required that at least two or three bids be obtained on any project costing more than $5,000. But Evans got around the requirement by submitting fictitious competing bids and falsifying insurance documents, which ensured that A.J. Construction would get all the contracts, the U.S. attorney’s office said. The contractor reportedly performed no work for any entity other than PHM.

Evans’ schemes reportedly led to her filing of false federal tax returns from 2006 through 2010. In those years, she failed to report $171,790 of income, resulting in a tax loss to the federal government of $28,737.

Agencies

THE CONVICTION OF BARBARA EVANS announced Wednesday by the U.S. attorney’s office in Springfield was brought about by a joint investigation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Internal Revenue Service.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ArtFest.jpg Giant footballs arrive in Pittsburg; organizers seeking more underwriters, artists for event

    Twenty-four giant fiberglass footballs arrived in Pittsburg on Wednesday to officially kick off SEK Art Fest’s second annual public art event.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • City of Neosho reinstates school officer

    The city of Neosho has restored its contract with the Neosho School District to provide a police officer for security in schools.

    April 16, 2014

  • Mike Pound: Host families build relationships with Joplin Outlaws

    When Missy and Wade Short agreed to serve as a host family for a member of the Joplin Outlaws, they knew they were helping a college baseball player. But what they didn’t know is that they would also find another role model for their son.

    April 16, 2014

  • City of Miami to stage trash, cleanup events

    The city of Miami plans two trash and cleanup events over the next month in an effort to beautify the city and to assist residents with trash removal. This Saturday will see the return of the annual spring “Trash-Off the Streets of Miami.”

    April 16, 2014

  • Commission awards contract for bridge replacement project

    Construction will start in about a month on a new bridge on County Road 48 in the northeast part of Jasper County. The Jasper County Commission this week approved a contract for the project on Deer Creek, south of Baseline Road.

    April 16, 2014

  • More volunteers, donations sought for ‘Victory 4 Haiti’

    The second meals-for-Haiti project, scheduled for April 26, is in need of donations and volunteers, organizers say. “Victory 4 Haiti,” a food-packaging event that will provide meals to the Haitian Christian Mission in the village of Fond-Parisien and elsewhere in Haiti, needs $60,000 to pay for about 280,000 meals.

    April 16, 2014

  • TIF proposal filed for development of area at 44th Street and Range Line

    Joplin’s Tax Increment Financing Commission will hold an informational meeting today on a proposal to establish a TIF district to pay for a wetlands project on property in the area of 44th Street and Range Line, where a developer wants to build a retail, office and hospitality district.

    April 16, 2014

  • 041614 MDOT5_72.jpg JATSO recommends 15 road projects for planning

    The reconstruction of the Highway 171/Interstate 49 interchange at Carthage and the construction of a limited-access highway on the west side of Joplin and Carl Junction are among the top highway projects to be identified by the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization.
     

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin city attorney takes job in Lee’s Summit

    City Attorney Brian Head will leave his Joplin post next month for a job in Lee’s Summit in suburban Kansas City. Head submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday morning to Mayor Mike Seibert and the City Council. The council is his employer.

    April 16, 2014

  • Neosho restores school resource officer to schools

    Neosho Police Chief David McCracken told the city council on Tuesday that he was restoring the city contract to provide a police officer in schools.

    April 16, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

The Supreme Court may take up a challenge to an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign. Do you think false accusations made in the heat of an election should be punished as a crime?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter