2 plead guilty in Gallup housing fraud case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – The Gallup Housing Authority’s former executive director and another man each face prison time after admitting they plotted to defraud the federal government.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 38-year-old Danny Garcia and 61-year-old Michael Virruso pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit false claims against the government and of false claims against the government. Garcia also pleaded guilty to theft from a program receiving federal funds.

A 2013 indictment accused them of engaging in a scheme to defraud the Department of Housing and Urban Development out of more than $100,000 between 2010 and 2012.

Garcia was executive director of the Gallup Housing Authority at the time.

Plea agreements call for prison sentences between 18 and 24 months and for payment of restitution.

Their sentencings haven’t been scheduled.

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