December 1, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Three Charged in Alleged Scheme to Steal Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Meant for Homeless Assistance

Attorney General Bonta files charges in connection with alleged theft from Los Angeles-based homelessness assistance program

By Sam Catanzaro

California Attorney General Rob Bonta is pressing charges against three defendants allegedly involved in a scheme to steal hundreds of thousands in public funds from Los Angeles-based nonprofit People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), where two were employees, to benefit family and friends.  

According to the complaint, PATH funds, intended to provide resources to transition unhoused individuals into homes by providing them with affordable housing and other services, were instead used by the defendants for their own purposes. 

On September 9, 2021, following an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Commercial Crimes Division, the Attorney General filed a 56-count felony complaint, charging the defendants–Latoi Pledger, Sareena Stevenson and Valencia Stevenson–with grand theft and embezzlement, as well as a special allegation of aggravated white collar crime with loss over $100,000.

The Los Angeles Homeless Authority contracted PATH to build and manage affordable housing and shelters alongside providing supportive services, including at A Bridge Home homeless shelter in Venice.  

From January to September of 2017, working in concert with one another, the three defendants, two of whom were employed by PATH, allegedly exploited the system by submitting fraudulent referrals and assistance requests to PATH for clients who were not homeless and thus ineligible to receive PATH funds, the complaint states. 

“These clients included their associates, friends, and families, whose identities they manipulated through forged and falsified materials, such as leases and income documents, so that they appeared eligible for PATH assistance,” the Attorney General’s office said in a statement. 

All three defendants have entered not-guilty pleas and are due in court again next month, the Los Angeles Times reported, who also writes that PATH reported the alleged misconduct to the LAPD and cooperated in the investigation. “As an organization dedicated to ending homelessness for individuals, families, and communities, we are appalled that people would take away valuable resources from vulnerable, unhoused people,” the PATH said in a statement.

According to PATH, around $400,000 was taken. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and the PATH’s insurance company covered some of the loss.

in Crime, News
Related Posts

Santa Monica City Councilmember’s Music Store Robbed for the Second Time This Year

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

September and November robberies at Santa Monica Music Center By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica City Councilmember Laura Negrete is co-owner...

Santa Monica to Become Part of New LA County Supervisorial District

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

LA County Redistricting to be handled by independent commission By Dolores Quintana The City of Santa Monica will become part...

Return Of International Travel Could Boost Local Economy: Santa Monica Beat – November 30, 2021

November 29, 2021

November 29, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Calvary Church Nativity Scene Returns For The Holidays* Return Of International Travel...

Santa Monica Homeless Count Returns

November 23, 2021

November 23, 2021

January 26, 2022 date for annual count By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Homeless Count is back after being canceled...

Petition To Divide SMMUSD On Its Way To County Officials: Santa Monica Beat – November 22, 2021

November 22, 2021

November 22, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* New Art Installation Pop Up Event Coming To Ocean Avenue * Petition To...

New Study Finds 1 in 5 Tweens Experience Cyberbullying

November 19, 2021

November 19, 2021

According to a recent study by the Cyberbullying Research center over 20% of tweens, aged 9 – 12 have experienced...

Veterans Demand Answers to Homeless Crisis Outside Ted Lieu’s West LA Office

November 19, 2021

November 19, 2021

Veterans took to the streets and marched from the West LA VA campus to the office of Ted Lieu, seeking...

Settlement Reached in Police Union Lawsuit Against the City of Santa Monica

November 18, 2021

November 18, 2021

Santa Monica Police Officers Association settles with City By Dolores Quintana The Santa Monica Police Officers Association (SMPOA) recently settled...

Victim Robbed in Broad Daylight, Shot at, After Parking Car in Santa Monica

November 18, 2021

November 18, 2021

Santa Monica police search for suspects in connection to November 15 incident By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police are searching...

No Arrests Made in Chess Park Airsoft Gun Incident

November 18, 2021

November 18, 2021

No victims of criminal threats, Santa Monica police say By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police say no arrests were made...

Getty Acquires 16th-Century Painting Never Seen by Public

November 17, 2021

November 17, 2021

Jacopo Bassano’s The Miracle of the Quails, 1554, has been rarely seen by scholars and never by the public By...

‘Annie Live!’ Elects Santa Monica Resident Alan Toy as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

Santa Monica resident Alan Toy has been cast as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in NBC’s holiday spectacular “Annie Live!”. Toy,...

Over $100K Raised in the Santa Monica Walk to End Alzheimer’s

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

Nearly 350 participate in October 24 event at Santa Monica Pier By Sam Catanzaro Over 300 Westside participants raised $127,063...

Local Church Seeks Community Help For Repairs

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

The Church in Ocean Park Is in need of a new roof after 100 years of service. Learn how you...