The Wayne County Sheriff’s Fraud Detection Unit of the Sheriff reported the arrest on Sunday (7/6) of Albert Garcia Jr., age 54, of Lake Bluff Road in the Town of Huron.
Garcia was picked up in connection with a complaint received from the Newark Housing Authority. It is alleged by the Authority that Garcia had his monthly rent and utilities paid for an apartment in the Village of Lyons by taxpayers for at least three years. The money comes from the Section 8 federal housing project. However, one of the H.U.D. housing rules applicable in regulating section 8 funds, is that a person who receives rent and utility payments, maintain only one residence.
Garcia had his primary residence on Lake Bluff Road, where he lived with a woman. He told police he kept the apartment in case of, or when she would throw him out. It is further alleged that he received over $17,000 from Section 8. It was also reported other people had been using the apartment that Garcia “kept up”.
The case came to light after officials at the Newark Housing Authority read an article in the Times concerning Garcia’s arrest for a Felony Driving While Intoxicated case and he listed his address on Lake Bluff Road in the Town of Huron.
Investigators charged Garcia with Welfare Fraud in the third degree and Grand Larceny third degree. When asked why he had the apartment, Garcia told police “It’s America, I can stay where I want to stay.”
Police reported that when they initially went to the Huron address to arrest Garcia, a woman coming to the door told them he was not there. They persisted and when entering the residence, found Garcia hiding in a closet. He told police he thought they were coming for him for his pre-trial Felony DWI arrest appearance.
Garcia was processed at the Sheriff’s Office in Lyons and was released with appearance tickets. His case will be heard in the Newark Village Court.
Records show Garcia, a navy veteran, is unemployed, receives a disability payment from the Navy and was recently approved to receive Social Security disability payments.