HUD's Office of Inspector General (OIG) Office of Investigation is the law enforcement component of the Department. Our special agents have experience in conducting investigations in all programs of the Department to include tenant and public housing authority (PHA) fraud, waste, and abuse. Unlike other law enforcement agencies, OIG is a part of the Department and has a vested interest in maintaining the integrity of Departmental programs.
If you are aware of fraud, waste, and abuse in HUD's public housing and/or housing choice voucher (HCV) programs, fill out and send in by fax or mail the OIG Hotline Complaint Intake Form (MS-Word document). HUD's goal is to root out fraud and abuse in HUD programs wherever it is found. See the Statment of David A Montoya, Inspector General, Department of Housing and Urban Development, December 1, 2011.
The basis on which the OIG, Office of Investigation will consider cases of fraud vary by U.S. Attorneys Office and by each local prosecuting entity. In general, local prosecutors will have lower dollar loss criteria than U.S. Attorneys Offices. Plus, there is flexibility on the dollar amount if the case involves:
- A municipal, State, or Federal employee
- An owner with various residences that he/she sublets
- An individual engaged in other criminal activity
- Other egregious factors
HUD's OIG has a dedicated team that handles fraud cases as a result of UIV, including identity theft without regard to value. If you would like to report such incidences of fraud, contact your local HUD OIG office or HUD OIG Hotline.
Reporting fraud, waste, and abuse can help the government save money. For example, an OIG investigation in Yonkers, New York, led to the arrest of 31 people for fraudulently obtaining rental subsidies worth more than $650,000. (Read the June 3, 2003 press release from the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York for more information on this case.) Read some of the investigations in OIG's Semiannual Report to Congress.
Prevention is the best way to stop fraud. See OIG's Guidance for Managers of HUD-Assisted Rental Housing Programs (December 2005). Inform tenants how to prevent fraud and avoid housing assistance scams by providing them with a copy of OIG's Applying For HUD Assistance flyer. This flyer is also available in Spanish.