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Tipp City man fined $100,000, sentenced to prison for rental assistance fraud

A Tipp City man was sentenced to prison and fined for rental assistance fraud.

A Tipp City man was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for defrauding a local nonprofit.

He was ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in restitution.

Federal prosecutors say Antoine Draines defrauded the Miami Valley Community Action Partnership of rental assistance funds. The money was part of the federal CARES Act.

Draines operated Freedom for Living Property Management. The company owned and served as landlord of numerous rental properties in Dayton. According to Draines, he was, at one point, the second-largest individual owner of Section 8 housing units in Greater Dayton.

He allegedly collected COVID rental assistance funds from the nonprofit for tenants who also received federal housing vouchers. From at least June 2020 until December 2020, Draines lied to MVCAP so that he could improperly collect emergency rental assistance money for certain Freedom for Living properties.

According to authorities, Draines knowingly sent false landlord statement forms concealing the critical fact that certain tenants were already having a substantial portion of their rent paid through federally funded housing vouchers.

Draines also fraudulently received $30,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.