social security

Tucson’s ‘source of income’ renter rule violates state law, AG says

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich ordered the city of Tucson to accept a law that prohibits landlords from discriminating against renters who receive government assistance, after he deemed it unconstitutional.

Brnovich’s non-binding legal opinion is that Tucson’s “source of income” law is unconstitutional according to a press release published Thursday.

If Tucson does not rescind its ordinance within the next 30 days, the attorney general’s office will notify the state treasurer, who will withhold the city’s portion of state shared revenue until it comes into compliance, said Brittni Thomason, a spokesperson for the Arizona Attorney General’s office.

“Tucson’s ordinance restricting home sellers and (landlords) from considering the source of income of interested individuals violates state law,” Brnovich said in a press release on Thursday. “It must therefore be repealed within 30 days.”

Fewer landlords are accepting housing vouchers or leasing to tenants on Social Security in Arizona, and a growing number of people who are becoming homeless. Tucson’s ordinance is in response to the growing problem.

AZ housing advocates demanding change:Eviction filings are climbing to pre-pandemic levels. Is the system broken?

Brnovich’s decision was based on a 1992 state law that ruled local fair housing ordinances had to be passed no later than Jan. 1, 1995. Tucson’s existing housing ordinance was amended on Sept. 27 with the “source of income” provision, 27 years after the 1992 law was passed.

The city attorney’s office said in a letter in response to the complaint that Tucson passed its fair housing ordinance in 1988, seven years before the purported deadline.

The letter further states that the 1992 state law authorizing cities to adopt fair housing ordinances before Jan. 1, 1995, “does not expressly prohibit enactments prior to that date or amendments after that date.”

City Attorney Mike Rankin said in an email

Read the rest

Georgia couple accused of using fake companies to steal $1.5 million in unemployment benefits

A Georgia pair has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a long list of charges for allegedly using stolen identities and fake companies to steal GA unemployment benefits.

Federal prosecutors allege that Wayne Lowe and Shanita Daniel stole more than $1,500,000 in unemployment benefit payments from the Georgia Department of Labor.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Daniel and Lowe allegedly set up multiple fake companies.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler says his office paid out unemployment for the fake companies because the employees were real employees, with real social security numbers. All from stolen identities.

“This was a very sophisticated attack,” Butler said.

The sham companies even correctly filed their quarterly taxes.

TRENDING STORIES:

“You’re taking advantage of money meant to help the public and you’re abusing that. To me, that’s one of the lowest forms of criminal activity out there,” Butler told Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray.

According to the indictment the “conspirators fraudulently provided to GaDOL the names of company employees using the names and Social Security numbers of persons who had no knowledge of the scheme.”

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

In addition to filing fraudulent claims for benefits in Georgia, Daniel and Lowe allegedly used some of the same stolen identities to submit fraudulent claims for benefits in California.

“The defendants share one trait in common – greed,” said Special Agent in Charge James E. Dorsey, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office. “Their desire for money, power and material items, drove them to perpetrate crimes against our unemployment insurance system and prey upon many individuals within our community,” he continued in the statement.

IN OTHER NEWS:

Read the rest