2 sentenced in Gallup housing fraud case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – The Gallup Housing Authority’s former executive director and another man have both been sentenced to prison for plotting to defraud the federal government.

Prosecutors say 39-year-old Danny Garcia received a 20-month prison term Thursday while 62-year-old Michael Virruso got an 18-month sentence.

Both pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to commit false claims against the government and 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.

Prosecutors say Garcia was must pay $105,000 restitution with Virruso jointly paying $75,000 of the total.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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