Ex-Pierce County community housing finance director pleads guilty in $6.9 million fraud

Cova Campbell, the previous finance director, pleaded guilty to taking practically $7 million from the community agency in three years.

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A previous Pierce County Housing Authority finance director pleaded guilty on Friday to wire fraud in link with her plan to steal almost $7 million to purchase private residence, the U.S. Attorney’s Business office announced.

Cova Campbell, also recognized as Cova Hunter, was fired from her place as finance director at the Pierce County Housing Authority in 2019 following the state auditor uncovered economical irregularities.

She experienced been in cost of the general public agency’s $32 million once-a-year spending plan, with small oversight. Campbell was arrested final year in Oklahoma.

The auditor’s office environment claimed that Campbell and her spouse had stolen $6.9 million since 2016 and utilised the money to invest in house in Oklahoma, among other issues.

The Pierce County Housing Authority is a public government agency that provides housing alternatives for people today with lower incomes. Campbell was in cost of the housing authority’s funds, which will come from federal, nearby and state packages, as very well as from rent on its qualities.

The auditor described that the fraud involved $25,000 in own purchases on the Housing Authority’s credit score playing cards, $3.2 million in transactions disguised as seller payments, $635,000 in wire transfers to an out of point out bank and additional than $3 million in wire transfers immediately to Campbell’s individual account.

The wire transfers were as substantial as $500,000, in accordance to the U.S. Attorney’s Place of work.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Business, Campbell also falsified invoices, labeling them as investments, insurance policies or upkeep.

Campbell pleaded responsible to employing the dollars to main her home in Oklahoma, for advancements to her Lakewood house and for vacation, including outings to Las Vegas and the chartering of a personal jet, in accordance to the announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office environment. She also admitted to making use of the money for the invest in of two automobiles and for gambling and online gaming.

Campbell faces up to 20 decades in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan on April 8, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office environment. She also need to pay out restitution of $7 million.