The Times-Picayune - March 1, 2012
A New Orleans Police Department detective was charged by a federal grand jury Thursday with conspiracy and theft of federal funds. The two-count indictment says that Tiwana Alexander, 37, conspired with a former case manager who worked for the House of Ruth to steal approximately $3,600. The House of Ruth is a nonprofit that receives money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide short-term rental and other assistance to homeless individuals and families. Alexander was neither homeless nor jobless during a nearly two-year period in which she received assistance from the House of Ruth, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. She was employed by the NOPD, making more than $40,000 a year as a detective in the department's 4th District in Algiers, Letten's office said. The indictment alleges that from September 2006 until July 2008, Alexander received five checks from the House of Ruth, some of them written to fictitious landlords. Alexander conspired with a case manager at the House of Ruth to get the checks, according to Letten's office. If convicted, Alexander faces a maximum prison term of 10 years, a $250,0000 fine, restitution of the federal funds and three years of supervised release after imprisonment. The case was investigated by HUD and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharan Lieberman is the prosecutor. A news release from Letten's office did not say if the former case manager also will be charged in the case.