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Gary, Indiana official tied to mortgage fraud scheme

A woman in charge of handling millions of dollars in federal stimulus cash for Northwest Indiana’s largest city has been tied to a mortgage fraud scheme.  

Jacquelyn Drago Hunter has not been accused of wrongdoing in her capacity as director of community development for the city of Gary, Ind. But this week, a federal grand jury returned a six count indictment against the 60-year-old Hunter for allegedly providing false information on forms submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
She’s also accused of forging the names of two individuals on those same forms submitted to HUD. In all, Hunter faces a six-count indictment; four for wire fraud and two for identity theft. Hunter, who lives in Merrillville, Ind., works at Gary City Hall near the office of Mayor Rudy Clay.
In her job with the city, Hunter is responsible for handling $5.4 million provided to the city as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Ironically, the funds the city received for reinvestment came from HUD.
When contacted, Clay did not say whether he intends to fire Hunter. He said she’s done a great job as community development director.
Others indicted with Hunter are Jerry Haymon, 44, and Philip Rucker, 39, both of Gary; and Sheila Chandler, 51, of Schererville, Ind.
Rucker serves as a reserve officer with the Gary Police Department.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Hammond says the indictment came from a joint investigation between the FBI, IRS and the Indiana State Police. Assistant U.S. attorney Gary Bell will prosecute the case.


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