Background Check Fails as Ex-Con Lands HUD Job, Embezzles $800,000

Jim McElhatton, Washington Times, December 23, 2014

Brian Thompson had a criminal record spanning more than two decades, but that didn’t stop him from getting an office job at the Department of Housing and Urban Development earning nearly $90,000 per year.

His extensive criminal history only came to light in recent days after federal prosecutors outlined convictions and charges of armed robbery, theft and larceny against Thompson, who now faces federal prison time for embezzling more than $800,000 from HUD during his short stint as a federal worker.

Now HUD officials are scrambling to figure out how he landed his job, which he was allowed to resign nearly two months after his embezzlement conviction.

“We are reviewing the portion of the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) process that HUD controls to understand why there were no background flags,” agency spokesman Jereon M. Brown wrote in an email Tuesday. “Something should have definitely come up during the background check.”

The U.S. attorney’s office in Washington filed a sentencing memo in Thompson’s case this week outlining theft and larceny arrests and convictions spanning from 1984 to 2007. He also had an armed robbery conviction in 1980 that resulted in probation; a 1998 misdemeanor conviction for check deception; a felony 2008 conviction for receiving stolen property; and probation violation reports filed in 1999, 2000 and 2001, according to prosecutors.

Yet HUD hired him as a GS-13 loan guarantee specialist within the Office of Public and Indian Housing at HUD on May 23, 2011.

He resigned on Nov. 20, which was nearly two months after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court in Washington. The U.S. attorney, Ron Machen, issued a press release at the time calling Thompson “a crooked HUD employee” who “diverted the proceeds of real estate sales from the U.S. Treasury to his own pockets through lies and trickery.”

While the press release referred to Thompson as a former federal employee, he wouldn’t resign for weeks, though Mr. Brown said in a statement Tuesday that Thompson was suspended without pay prior to his resignation.

An attorney for Thompson said neither he nor his client would comment when reached by The Washington Times.

Thompson faces between 33 to 41 months in prison under federal guidelines when he’s sentenced next month.

At HUD he had little oversight in a job that required him to sell off HUD-owned properties for the best deal possible on behalf of taxpayers.

“The defendant held almost complete discretion,” assistant U.S. Attorney Virginia Cheatham wrote in a court filing, describing a job in which neither his supervisor nor escrow agents questioned Thompson or asked for backup documents.

From June 2013 to March 2014, he skimmed $843,000 in sales process on five HUD-owned properties by ordering escrow agents to send money to back accounts that he controlled, according to Ms. Cheatham.

But things began to unravel soon after a deal for a property fell through. Coworkers became concerned that Thompson was trying to justify a “rock bottom” price by producing pictures of mold purportedly found at the HUD-owned Florida property, according to prosecutors.

Coworkers, though, found it was a photo from the Internet, easily located by searching for the word “mold,” the memo said.

In Thompson’s old office at the Office of Public and Indian Housing, another employee was recently the subject of an unrelated misconduct probe.

In that case, a program analyst, whom the Times identified as J’Vaughn Hawkins, was suspended for a month after investigators found he was using his HUD-owned email account to refer tenants to landlords for a cut of the first month’s rent.

The inspector general’s office also found emails in his work account about non-HUD business ventures, including messages about landscaping, chauffeuring and one email in which he offered to provide women to serve drinks and provide lap dances during a boxing match.

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  • TruthBeTold

    Background checks are racist.

    • Usually Much Calmer

      Backgrounds are racist.

      • Oil Can Harry

        Checks be racist.

        Dass why me and da rest of da bruthas refuse to visit Prague.

        • Usually Much Calmer

          Yeah, the defenestration of Prague does not mean all the buildings are board-ups. Please stay away.

  • LHathaway

    The investigation might bump up against investigations as to why HUD doesn’t hire enough people of color. The fact African Americans are already overrepresented at 15 of 16 federal agencies does not end the calls to hire more. Indeed, there are people in the federal government whose sole job is to oversee more diversity hiring. Large private companies also have departments dedicated to diversity. The welfare reform act of 1996 (which is still in effect) offers tax breaks to companies that hire those receiving government assistance. It also provides tax breaks to companies hiring those with a criminal record.

    • See The Future

      It is a 50-50 proposition as to whether we survive the white traitors in our midst.
      No external force could ever defeat the USA……..but white traitors sure can.

  • JackKrak

    Having a criminal record spanning two decades probably gets you some kind of extra points on a federal application, doesn’t it?

    • Sick of it

      It worked for Clinton.

  • Brian Thompson had a criminal record spanning more than two decades, but that didn’t stop him from getting an office job at the Department of Housing and Urban Development earning nearly $90,000 per year.

    “Brian Thompson has a criminal record spanning more than two decades, and that combined with his black skin privilege helped him get a $90k/yr do nothing sinecure with HUD.”

    There, I fixed it.

    Thompson faces between 33 to 41 months in prison under federal guidelines when he’s sentenced next month.

    He has nothing to worry about. There will be another Federal job waiting for him when he gets out. Because diversity.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Now you know why Ron Paul, and later Mitt Romney, called for the abolition of HUD.

      Then again, do you believe Romney would have actually followed through if elected?

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    Is that supposed to be Brian Thompson shown with Obama at the beginning of that video? He looks Asian, or maybe Hispanic.

  • superlloyd

    Idiots like this criminal helped fuel the sub prime mortgage fuelled credit crisis. Well done HUD for such reckless, fiscal incompetence.

  • Alucard_the_last

    He’ll serve about 6 months. Should be enslaved for the rest of its life.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen said: ‘This crooked HUD employee diverted the proceeds of real estate sales from the U.S. Treasury to his own pockets through lies and trickery. He now faces serious prison time as a result of criminal breach of the public trust.’ Thompson’s offenses incur a maximum penalty of 20 years, but it looks like he won’t get more than 41 months due to the plea agreement. He is, however, required to pay back a sum $645,700.

    The way the current system is now, no one in charge cared whether he was a criminal or not – that may have enhanced his resume — especially if he is ripping off White taxpayers.

    This thug is no different from any other bureaucrat or politician.

    They know where the real money is to be had: government.

    • HE2

      The Asian looking guy on the left is the perp.

      • Bon, From the Land of Babble

        Is that what he is?

        I figure he’s a mixed mongrel – non-White, of course, otherwise he would have never gotten the job. I’m sure they knew about his criminal record and didn’t care.

        • HE2

          Looks White, Northern Asian to me.
          Small, almost petite frame.
          Chinese, Japanese, possibly Korean?
          His racketeering comes as no surprise.

  • A Freespeechzone

    It seems to me that several jurisdictions, by law, to conduct a criminal background check is discriminatory and illegal.

    Meanwhile, Whites need not apply.

    • John Smith

      Even white queers?

  • John Barleycorn

    we are so screwed

  • Usually Much Calmer

    Autoplay is more than mildly annoying.

  • ncpride

    Now HUD officials are scrambling to figure out how he landed his job,

    Give me a break here. He ‘landed’ that job for one reason and one reason only…..he is not WHITE.

  • connorhus

    And they wouldn’t even look at a White Male for that position either let me tell you. Not that a real White Man should ever take a job at HUD but that’s not really the point here.

  • John Smith

    He should run for office, as that’s where you can steal REAL money.

  • Harry

    There is no way that a white male got hired in that position. As far as the background check goes; It came back with the guy’s criminal history, it just got swept under the rug by whatever black brother the crook was connected to in HUD. We live in a day and age where a past parking infraction is going to show up on a check and there is no way I will ever believe that it was an administrative screw-up. Somebody’s palm got greased on this one.

  • newscomments70

    If a non-white minority commits a horrible crime, we are forced to ignore it. When he or she is released from prison (if they even go to prison), they can be hired for any government or corporate job imaginable. To disagree, liberals scream “RACIST!”. If a white person is accused of racism, he or she loses everything, job, pension, reputation. Even if the “racism” is a mild or trivial comment stated in the past.

  • Since Thompson was ripping HUD off, I am for some reason having a rather hard time caring about this.