Our purpose at FedSmith.com is to keep up with various changes that impact our readers–employees and retirees of the federal government. It requires culling through a large number of articles, press releases, and various other written material every day and to find items that we think will interest a number of our readers.
But the federal government is a huge organization and some of the programs and policies are largely internal to one agency and may not impact many people.
In any event, one program we missed reading or at least missed paying much attention to was the "FedRent Initiative." Chances are that most federal employees have never heard of the "FedRent initiative." "FedRent" is a program that was launched by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s IG office to ensure that federal employees receiving housing benefits from HUD properly disclosed their wages and assets to HUD.
The purpose of "FedRent" is to uphold public trust and integrity in federal employees.
With the salaries of many federal employees being considerably above the national average, most federal employees do not receive housing benefits from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). But some do and, apparently, the agency thought there were enough federal employees receiving aid, and that there were enough problems with these employees not providing accurate information about their federal pay that it set up a special program to try to eliminate or minimize the problem.
And now at least one federal employee has a significant problem as a result of the "FedRent" program.
A Social Security Administration employee has been arraigned on an Indictment charging her with five counts of committing mail fraud by devising a scheme to illegally receive funds from HUD. The indictment alleges that Marjorie Chatman, of Richmond, California failed to disclose her salary and employment with the SSA to the Richmond Housing Authority when she submitted forms and applications to receive housing assistance.
Mail fraud is a serious charge and carries a potential penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. No doubt, an indictment does not help an employee receive future promotions or awards either.