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Muscatine woman sentenced for making false statements to gain housing assistance
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Muscatine woman sentenced for making false statements to gain housing assistance

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DAVENPORT — A Muscatine woman will spend two months in prison following a ruling in federal court that she is guilty of making false statements on a tenant form for housing assistance.

On Tuesday in Southern District of Iowa court, Judge John A. Jarvey sentenced Malinda Jean Sotelo to two months in prison.

According to a press release from United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum, the sentence was based on Sotelo’s June 17 plea of guilty to one count of false statements.

The release said that from 2012 through 2017 Sotelo received housing assistance through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She also received food assistance and cash assistance through the Family Investment Program (FIP), which are benefit programs administered by the Iowa Department of Human Services. The release said that Sotelo falsified 15 forms used to determine her eligibility for benefits and the amount she was entitled to receive.

Sotelo purposely had failed to include her significant other as a resident of the household and had not reported his income. Due to the false information provided, she received $32,110 in housing assistance, $11,017 in food assistance, and $15,022 in cash assistance.

Sotelo will also serve three years of supervised release following her incarceration and pay $32,110 in restitution and $100 to the Crime Victim’s Fund.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.

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