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Maine woman pleads guilty to stealing more than $113K in public funds

In total, the Department of Justice said Rebecca Cranford, 63, stole about $113,067 in housing assistance benefits.
Credit: Micha? Chodyra
Photo: Thinkstock

BOSTON — A Maine woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing federal housing benefits from at least December 2004 through February 2020.

Rebecca Amelia Cranford, 63, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds, according to a release from the Department of Justice, District of Massachusetts. She was arrested and charged in September 2021, the release said.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled Cranford's sentencing for Aug. 17. She could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, according to the release. 

Cranford was contacted in the early 2000s by the owners of a vacation home in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, to look after the property in their absence, officials said. 

"Instead of merely looking after the property, Cranford applied for federal housing subsidies pretending to be a tenant living at the property while separately directing the housing subsidies to a business entity incorporated in her own name and listed as the landlord for the property on the housing application," the release said.

The Department of Justice said Cranford stole a total of about $113,067 in housing assistance benefits.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Deitch of Levy’s Criminal Division is prosecuting the case, according to the release.

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