Haverhill Landlord Settles Charges of Fraudulently Obtaining State Housing Subsidies

Attorney General Maura Healey. (State House News Service.)

A Haverhill landlord has agreed to pay the state $40,000 to settle allegations he fraudulently obtained state housing subsidies.

Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement Tuesday that Thomas E. Theriault of Haverhill allegedly presented falsified documents to obtain $20,000 in housing subsidies from the Department of Housing and Community Development. To obtain the subsidies from the HomeBASE program, Theriault was required to have apartments inspected by the City of Haverhill to ensure they were free of significant code violations, and to obtain certificates of occupancy from the city certifying the apartments met all applicable health and safety codes.

Healey’s office charged Theriault did not have the apartments inspected and instead knowingly changed the dates on outdated certificates of occupancy for two rental units. At least one of the units had a violation of the state sanitary code.

HomeBASE is the Commonwealth’s re-housing benefit created to provide families who are in the emergency shelter assistance system an opportunity to overcome some of the financial barriers to ending their homelessness. The program can provide money in a variety of ways, including paying first and last month’s rent and security deposit in a new home.

Under settlement terms filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Theriault will pay the state double damages of $40,000 and is permanently barred from accepting any type of rental housing payment or subsidy from the state in the future.

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