Fourth District Detective Tiwanda Alexander is charged with taking $3,600 from nonprofit housing assistance group the House of Ruth — which receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — between 2007 and 2008, according to the federal indictment. Alexander was not homeless and was making more than $40,000 per year in salary. Alexander faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Read the full indictment: Alexander__Tiwana_ind.pdf
The press release from U.S. Attorney Jim Letten:
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA -TIWANA ALEXANDER, age 37, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, and a detective employed by the New Orleans Police Department in the Fourth District, was charged by a federal grand jury today in a two-count indictment charging her with conspiracy and theft of federal funds, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the indictment, from March 2007 through July 2008, ALEXANDER conspired with a former case manager who worked for the House of Ruth, a non-profit organization receiving federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), to steal approximately $3,600. One of the primary missions of the House of Ruth is to provide short-term rental and other basic assistance to homeless individuals and families. The indictment alleges that from May 2007 through July 2008, ALEXANDER, who was not homeless or jobless at the time and earned an income exceeding $40,000, knew she did not qualify for House of Ruth assistance. Nevertheless, ALEXANDER conspired with the former House of Ruth case manager to steal money from the House of Ruth. The indictment alleges that she used two checks to pay her rent: one in July of 2007 and one in August of 2007. On three occasions in November 2007, December 2007, and January 2008 she deposited House of Ruth checks each in the amount of $900 into her own personal checking account.
If convicted, ALEXANDER faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years, a $250,0000 fine, restitution to the House of Ruth, and three (3) years of supervised release following imprisonment.
U. S. Attorney Letten reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Sharan E. Lieberman.