HomeSafe Georgia Beneficiary Pleads Guilty to Falsifying a Mortgage Assistance Application
On February 6, 2017, a HomeSafe Georgia beneficiary pled guilty to one count of false statements (O.C.G.A. §16-10-20) in DeKalb County Superior Court. Ms. Brazil was sentenced under the First Offender Act to serve five years of probation, including six months in the DeKalb County Jail work release program. Brazil was also ordered to pay full restitution of $31,012.55 to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
HomeSafe Georgia, a division of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, is a federally funded, state operated mortgage assistance program that helps homeowners avoid foreclosure. Homeowners must be Georgia citizens who are unemployed/underemployed and meet eligibility criteria.
In 2012, Ms. Brazil submitted a falsified application to HomeSafe Georgia. Ms. Brazil underreported her actual cash savings in order to qualify for mortgage assistance. Ms. Brazil was arrested on October 24, 2016.
The case was referred by the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) to the State of Georgia Office of Inspector General (GA OIG) for investigation. The case was investigated by GA OIG Investigator Liana Rummel. The Georgia Office of the Attorney General’s Assistant Attorney General Blair L. McGowan prosecuted the case on behalf of the State of Georgia.