Hanover landlord gets house arrest for witness tampering
- Federal prosecutors say David Shaqfeh owned rental properties in Bucks County that were part of a federal rent-subsidy program.
A Hanover landlord who asked someone to lie to federal investigators has avoided federal prison time but must spend five months on house arrest.
David Shaqfeh, 49, appeared in Harrisburg's federal court on Tuesday, Oct. 17, and was sentenced to two years' probation, five months of home confinement and a $55,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
He previously paid the federal government nearly $172,000 to resolve allegations he might have tried to swindle the system.
Shaqfeh was 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.
Guilty plea: 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 pleaded guilty in May to tampering with a witness.
His York-area attorney, John Uhler, has told The York Dispatch that Shaqfeh "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."
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 paid $171,831 to "resolve" those False Claim Act allegations, according to Mayko.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.