The CEO of an Anderson based nonprofit has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud federal and state housing programs, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced Tuesday.
The charges against Erick Bradshaw, a 41-year old originally from Kentucky, stem from a nonprofit he founded Fresh Start Community Development Corporation (FSCDC) to help repair the home of people in financial need through the South Carolina House Financing and Development Authority and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta.
Prosecutors said Bradshaw misrepresented the cost of construction for several of his properties and forged contractors signatures on fabricated work orders in order to keep federal and state money for himself.
In some cases, Bradshaw would file paperwork claiming construction occurred on projects like handicap accessible ramps. Prosecutors said paperwork he filed indicated that workers completed these projects when in actuality no work had been performed. In other situations Bradshaw would negotiate with contractors to do work for a price but change invoices to reflect a higher payment before they reached officials at government agencies. Bradshaw would then keep the difference between the two sets of payments.
“The Affordable Hosing Program funded by the Federal Home Loan Banks is meant to help the most vulnerable in society with their housing needs. When someone takes advantage of the program to profit for their own benefit, we will make sure they are brought to justice,” said Tim Mowery the special agent in charge of the case for the Office of the Inspector General.
The charges originally brought to court in May accused Bradshaw and his employee 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.
A report from the US attorney’s office says the government lost approximately $282,000 as a result of Bradshaw’s actions.
Bradshaw faces a maximum penalty of of $250,000 with a possible prison sentence of 5 years after his plea. He will be sentenced at a later date.