In a bombshell report released by True Homestead, Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Luis Gomez is alleged to be defrauding the government and housing authority in amounts up to $120,000.
In regards to public assistance such as section 8 housing, food stamps, and more the common scapegoat used for blame of misappropriation of assistance are Black people. There is no denying that there is public assistance abuse within the Black community however to make it the face of public assistance fraud is preposterous. The motivation to defraud and scam the government out of a few extra dollars is evident in all demographics.
According to the stats, it is the sons and daughters of liberty that make up the majority of government assistance recipients. Stereotyping and bigoted legislation enacted to curb the amount of non-Whites on government assistance is to thank for that but it is this same group of people that are restricted from unfettered assistance that make up the brunt of the talking points surrounding the very same legislation in place to restrict them from gaining access.
Sheriff’s Deputy Luis Gomez is a prime example of said bias.
In the report published by True Homestead, Gomez and his wife, Maria Quintero, have engaged in activities that questions the integrity of his badge and his character. Gomez and his wife Maria L. Quintero Campos have allegedly collected government assistance for the last decade totaling $105,000 as of October 2016. Gomez and his wife are reportedly to still be receiving $1,200 a month bringing the amount upwards of $120,000.
In the report filled with billing records obtained from the Miami Dade Public Housing Community Development Agency, the couple began receiving housing assistance in 2007, the same year Gomez was hired by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office according to the police officer database. Prior to being hired by the Sheriff’s Office, Gomez was employed in corrections with the same department. Both positions alone maintain a salary that automatically revokes a person’s eligibility for Section 8 housing.
So how did Gomez slip through the cracks? How was he able to work in law enforcement while defrauding the government at the same time? How is it that the Sheriff’s Office was not aware of Gomez’ scheme?
In applying for the public housing assistance, Maria claimed to be living alone with just her daughter according to the Interim Recertification Update of Household Changes form signed by Maria on 6/22/2012. Maria even had her sister write a letter attesting that the sister contributes $130 a month to her expenses since she lost her job.
Those who are familiar with how government assistance works know that there is a time period before having to renew your eligibility for assistance. According to True Homestead, Gomez’ wife Maria purposefully neglected to mention her husband’s income or that he was living in the home. In a recent deposition involving Gomez in an unrelated case, he claimed to at first be living with “Mari” before amending his response to living with family. When pressed on who that family was, Gomez offered up the simple response of his wife and kids.
Don’t forget that Maria only mentioned one child living in the home.
When asked about whether he owns or rents the home Gomez stated that he was renting the home but had no answer as to who was paying the rent or how much the rent was.
Considering the mountain of evidence against Gomez, again, how did it go unnoticed by his department, the housing authority, and the federal government?
Now that this has come to light what actions will the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office take? Will the housing authority revoke their benefits and ban them from ever being able to receive assistance again? Will they be forced to repay the monies paid to them? Will Gomez get paid leave or will he face prison time for defrauding the government and contributing to government assistance abuse?
That remains to be seen.