Wilmington Housing Authority worker sentenced for embezzlement

Damien Piper will spend a year and a day in prison after pleading guilty to stealing rent checks from residents at WHA’s Crestview Apartments.

Damien Piper, who formerly worked as assistant site manager at Crestview Apartments, was accused of taking residents rental payments for himself. Piper pled guilty to taking money orders from residents and altering them to be payable to himself.

From early 2012 to October 2014, Piper converted more than 700 money orders to pay himself at least $179,000. U.S. Attorney for Delaware Charles Oberly said Piper hid the theft by altering WHA’s computerized records to show the stolen payments as “adjustments” on the rent owed by residents.

“The theft of money from those who pay rent to the Wilmington Housing Authority is particularly despicable,” Oberly said.

Piper was sentenced Thursday to 12 months and one day in prison and ordered to pay full restitution by U.S. District Judge for Delaware Gregory Sleet. “The impact on the Housing Authority was real and apparent, if not devastating,” Sleet said. Piper “damaged the reputation of the agency for his own enrichment.”

Piper pled guilty in October 2015. Oberly said the case was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.


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