THREE FAMILY MEMBERS TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR SCHEME DEFRAUDING OVER $140,000 IN PUBLIC ASSISTANCE BENEFITS

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 11WF0173


 



March 25, 2011

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

THREE FAMILY MEMBERS TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR SCHEME DEFRAUDING OVER $140,000 IN PUBLIC ASSISTANCE BENEFITS


WESTMINSTER– Three family members will be arraigned this afternoon for defrauding multiple county agencies of over $140,000 in public assistance benefits by lying and failing to report assets on aid applications for eight years. Lieu Thi Ha, 38, Westminster, is charged with 37 felony counts of perjury by false application for aid, 11 felony counts of grand theft, and two felony counts of aid by misrepresentation of over $400. If convicted, Ha faces a maximum sentence of 48 years and eight months in state prison. Ha’s maternal aunt, Hue Thi Chu, 37, Garden Grove, is charged with 16 felony counts of perjury by false application and 10 felony counts of grand theft. She faces a maximum sentence of 25 years and four months in state prison if convicted. Chu’s ex-husband, Hai Dien Luu, 49, Garden Grove, is charged with 11 felony counts of grand theft and one felony count of perjury by false application. He faces a maximum sentence of 11 years and four months in state prison if convicted.  

 

The defendants are each being held on $500,000 bail and must prove that the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. The defendants are expected to be arraigned this afternoon, March 25, 2011, in Department W-14, West Justice Center, Westminster.  

 

Between June 2002 and February 2010, the defendants are accused of fraudulently applying for and receiving public assistance benefits by signing under penalty of perjury false income, asset, occupation, and homeowner information. The defendants are accused of fraudulently collecting a total of over $140,000 in public assistance benefits by lying on aid applications for financial assistance with housing, cash, child care services, and food stamps through the Orange County Housing Authority (OCHA), Children’s Home Society of California (CHS), and Social Services Agency (SSA) of Orange County.

 

Between June 2002 and February 2010, Ha, a mother of two, is accused of fraudulently applying for and receiving over $88,000 in rental assistance through OCHA’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. To qualify, applicants must be from a low-income household and rent an apartment or house from a private landlord that is not a blood relative. Ha is accused of lying on applications by reporting less income to qualify under low-income program requirements, failing to report her familial relationship to the “landlords,” and falsely listing Chu and Luu as owners of her Westminster house.

 

Between February 2004 and December 2009, Ha is accused of fraudulently applying for public assistance through SSA and receiving over $44,000 in cash, medical aid, food stamps, and child care services, for which she did not qualify. Ha is accused of lying on applications under penalty of perjury to qualify for these benefits by falsifying employment information, hiding ownership of a Los Angeles nail salon and Westminster home, and underreporting income including failing to disclose additional earnings received from tenants renting rooms in her house.

 

Between July 2004 and July 2008, Ha is accused of fraudulently applying for and receiving over $7,700 in child care assistance benefits by lying about her income and assets. Ha is accused of reporting Chu as her child care provider to CHS and receiving benefits in her aunt’s name when Chu did not live in the United States or care for Ha’s children. Chu is accused of providing a copy of her California State identification card to