A former executive director of a Cleveland community development corporation was arrested this morning for embezzling more than $172,000 from the Collinwood and Nottingham Villages Development Corporation.
Tamiko Parker, 46, of Cleveland, is scheduled to appear on Thursday at 2 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Cleveland. She has been indicted on one count of theft of federal funds.
Parker served as executive director of Collinwood and Nottingham Villages Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that was to acquire, develop and lease property on the northeast side of Cleveland.
Parker misused various accounts through a variety of schemes including making unauthorized cash withdrawals, having checks issued to her and using debit and credit cards to pay her personal expenses. This took place between September 2014 through February 2016, according to court documents.
Parker used the community development corporation’s debit card to make purchases at Harley Davidson, the Horseshoe Casino, Victoria’s Secret and in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. She used the community development corporation’s credit card to purchase appliances at Home Depot for her home. Parker collected cash rental payments from tenants of the nonprofit and deposited cash into her personal account, according to court documents.
“This defendant betrayed the trust placed in her by a city and a community,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “Instead of using her position to spur redevelopment, she used it as a personal piggy bank to gamble and travel.”
“Ms. Parker stole hundreds of thousands of dollars planned for economic development in the community,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. “The only thing Ms. Parker was developing was her lavish lifestyle. She will now be held accountable for being a thief.”
“The charges disclosed today prove our continuing resolve to root out fraud and corruption in all forms, especially when the programs involved should have been used to help our neediest families,” said Brad Geary, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General. “It is our continuing core mission to work with our Federal law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s Office to protect the integrity of our housing programs and to take strong action against those who seek to personally benefit from taxpayer-funded grants.”
“Those funds were designated to improve the lives of the residents and business owners in the Collinwood neighborhood,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley.....