Hanover landlord guilty of federal witness-tampering
A Hanover landlord has pleaded guilty in federal court to tampering with a witness and has paid nearly $172,000 to the federal government to resolve allegations he might have tried to swindle the system, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
David Shaqfeh, 49, remains free pending sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled, according to federal court records. He pleaded guilty Thursday, court records state.
Shaqfeh was at the time a landlord of federally subsidized rental property in Levittown, Bucks County, according to a news release from Dawn Mayko, U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman.
In March 2016, Shaqfeh "corruptly ... encouraged another person to give a false statement about supplemental rent payments Shaqfeh received in 2014 and 2015 ... to investigators from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (and) Office of Inspector General, who were then conducting an official investigation into the matter," according to federal court records.
He is being represented by York-area attorney John Uhler.
"David has fully cooperated with the government and is sincerely remorseful for the uncharacteristic behaviors that led to the filing of the charge to which he pled guilty," Uhler told The York Dispatch on Tuesday.
Before being charged with witness-tampering, Shaqfeh had participated as a landlord in HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Program and allegedly solicited and received "unauthorized side payments" from a program participant over and above the authorized rent amount, according to Mayko.
Basically, he was investigated for allegedly charging at least one voucher-program tenant too much rent.
Shaqfeh has paid $171,831 to "resolve" those allegations, according to Mayko.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.