The director of an Anderson nonprofit that received state funds to assist low-income homeowners and one of his employees both face money laundering and conspiracy charges.
Federal indictments handed down by a grand jury Tuesday accuse 40-year-old Erick Bradshaw, Sr., and 61-year-old Augustina Cabral-Rice of skimming funds that were supposed to be used for Fresh Start Community Development Corporation in 2011 and 2012. Bradshaw is founder and director of Fresh Start, while Cabral-Rice is its housing services coordinator.
The group received money from the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority that was meant for improvements to eligible properties such as wheelchair ramps or new roofs. However, the indictments claim Bradshaw and Cabral-Rice created false invoices, including forging some contractors’ signatures. The indictment claims the pair then “split the profits.”
Both individuals are charged with two counts of money laundering and a third for conspiracy. They face more than 15 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines if convicted of all counts. Documents with the US Attorney’s Office show prosecutors are also seeking to recover more than $280,000 in forfeitures.
A 2011 article in the Anderson Independent-Mail notes Fresh Start had closed its doors due to financial problems before restarting that year. At that time, Bradshaw told the paper the state housing agency could grant up to $20,000 per home so long as its owner is at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income.