DAVENPORT, Iowa — On October 20, 2020, United States District Chief Judge John A. Jarvey sentenced Malinda Jean Sotelo, age 38, of Muscatine, to two months in prison for False Statements she made on tenant information forms for housing assistance announced United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum. Sotelo was ordered to serve three years of supervised release following her prison term and pay $32,110.00 in restitution as well as $100 to the Crime Victims’ Fund.
On June 17, 2020, Sotelo pleaded guilty to one count of False Statements. From 2012 through 2017, Sotelo received housing assistance through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She also received food assistance (SNAP) and cash assistance through the Family Investment Program (FIP aka Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), which are benefit programs administered by the Iowa Department of Human Services. Sotelo falsified 15 forms used by the two agencies to determine her eligibility for benefits and the amounts she was entitled to receive. On these forms, Sotelo purposefully failed to include her significant other as a resident of her household, and she failed to report his income. Due to the false information provided on these forms, Sotelo received $32,110 in unentitled housing assistance, $11,017 in unentitled food assistance, and $15,022 in unentitled cash assistance.
This matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.