Natick Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud in Worcester HUD Project

 by Tom MarinoSeptember 29, 2020

WORCESTER - James Levin, 61, of Natick, pleaded guilty on Monday, September 28, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and false claims related to rehabilitation of a multi-unit apartment building at 5 May St.

According to U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office, from July 2010 to September 2011, Levin applied for and obtained federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD], through the City of Worcester, to rehabilitate the 5 May St. building. Levin submitted seven payment requests to the City for work he fraudulently claimed he completed on the building and associated costs.

Charges against Leven were filed in August 2016.

Levin’s co-defendant, Jacklyn Sutcivni, then an official within Worcester’s Housing Development Office, allegedly approved the payment requests submitted by Levin, although she knew the requests were fraudulent. The allegations are that this caused the City of Worcester to pay approximately $2,365,050 to Levin. Sutcivni or other City officials then submitted reimbursement requests for HUD funds.

Sutcivni has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial on May 3, 2021.

Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud each provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. or twice the gross gain or loss.

Conspiracy to defraud the United States provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. or twice the gross gain or loss.

Submission of false claims provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,00,or twice the gross gain or loss.

The indictment also seeks monetary forfeiture in the amount of $2,365,050.

Sentencing for Levin has been set for February 9, 2021

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