While working as an assistant buyer for the Atlantic City Housing Authority in New Jersey, Brian Lewis accepted $239,000 in duplicate payments through fraudulent companies he created to mimic construction firms that had worked for the state, according to the Press of Atlantic City and the South Jersey Times.
Investigation began in the embezzlement scheme after the Housing Authority discovered some builders were listed as receiving payments before the completion of their projects. Lewis and his wife, Shellie Williams, also failed to file $36,600 in taxes that the fraudulent businesses owed, the sources report. The Press says in addition to paying himself through the shell companies, Lewis assigned government projects to them, paid them off and neglected to complete the jobs. The duplicate payment audit showed that some of the staged projects were paid twice or three times over, the Times claims.
The sources did not say if an accounts payable recovery would be possible for the Housing Authority. Lewis was indicted on theft, making fraudulent transactions as a government worker, and issuing a fraudulent claim of income from a state contract – all five times over. He and his wife incurred six additional charges related to tax negligence.