The PJ Tatler

HUD Workers Skims $843K from Native American Program, Helping Those Who Help Themselves

They say when you go into public service, you sacrifice the potential for more lucrative income in the private sector. But why make such a difficult decision?

Consider Brian Thompson.

While working at the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Loan Guarantee for Native American programs, his bank account swelled handsomely.

Thompson sold real estate properties on behalf of HUD, after borrowers defaulted on mortgages from the department. For several properties, the Justice Department says he made “materially false representations” to third parties and diverted $843,000 to his own bank accounts.

Of course, the government doesn’t like it when you steal the money that its stealing from others, so Mr. Thompson will soon get an all-expense-paid stay at one of our best federal housing and urban development projects — a penitentiary. He’ll also cough up a fine and make restitution.

Perhaps the most curious aspect of this story is how they ever caught him.

Given HUD’s credo — Accipere a Divitibus, Pauperibus Dignitate Spoliare (Take from the Rich, Strip the Dignity of the Poor) — it must be difficult to distinguish when someone’s doing something unethical or illegal, or is merely fulfilling the mission.