A former loan guarantee specialist for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will spend the next two years in prison for stealing $843,000 from the federal government.

Brian Thompson, 54, was sentenced to 26 months in prison for making false representations about HUD-owned properties and diverting $843,000 of the sales proceeds into his own bank accounts.

According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice, Thompson carried out his scheme from May 2013 until March 2014, while he was working for HUD’s Office of Loan Guarantee for Native American programs. 

This office handles the reselling of properties that have been acquired by HUD after borrowers defaulted on their HUD-guaranteed mortgages. As a loan guarantee specialist, Thompson’s duties included selling these HUD real-estate-owned properties for the best possible price in order to reimburse the government for the payments made to the mortgage lender for the insured loan. 

For five of those parcels, Thompson made materially false misrepresentations to third parties and diverted over $843,000 of the sales proceeds to bank accounts under his control. In order to conceal these thefts from HUD, Thompson used and submitted fictitious settlement statements that falsely listed the buyer, the contract sales prices, or the seller proceeds, the DOJ said.

“Brian Thompson will be a federal inmate because of his crooked dealings,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “He ripped off the taxpayer and harmed the integrity of a program designed to help underprivileged Native American homeowners. Public service is a calling, not a get-rich-quick opportunity. I want to thank the other public servants at the Office of Native American Programs who came forward and raised concerns about Thompson’s conduct.”

Thompson pleaded guilty to the charges in October 2014. Upon completion of his prison term, Thompson will be placed on three years of supervised release. The DOJ also ordered Thompson to pay $843,400 in restitution to the federal government. 

Thompson is also subject to a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $645,700, in addition to over $150,000 previously seized from his financial accounts.

“The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General is tasked with investigating allegations of waste, fraud, and abuse in HUD-sponsored programs,” said Cary Rubenstein, special agent in charge of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Office of the Inspector General of HUD. 

“When we learn of HUD employees who engage in fraud, and in this instance elect to enrich themselves at the expense of a HUD program designed to ensure that Native Americans are provided the American dream of home ownership, we vigorously investigate these allegations in order to bring the employees to justice and remove them from current and future employment with HUD and the federal government,” Rubenstein added. 

“We wish to thank our law enforcement partners at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and United States Attorney’s Office for their steadfast efforts, hard work and dedication. This was a truly collaborative effort that led to the sentencing today.”