One by one, the 14 folks indicted in the feds' City Hall corruption case are pleading guilty; thus far, it's been Allen McGill and Andrea Spencer. So, how long till Darren Reagan sings about his involvement in the low-income housing scheme? After all, he'll have plenty of time to tell the feds his story -- like, oh, 50 years max, after his conviction today in an entirely unrelated case involving his stealing some $45,000 from the Dallas Housing Authority. A federal jury found Reagan guilty of having his mother-in-law, Leatha Kirven, turn over rent checks that were supposed to go to the DHA. Notes the U.S. Attorney's Office, he's looking at a max statutory sentence of 50 years in prison as well as a $1.25 million fine and restitution.
He'll be sentenced on October 4, but he'll confined till then since Reagan's ex-wife has accused him of threatening her. Hence the U.S. Attorney's note, following in the jump, that "he had made certain threatening statements to family member" warranting his confinement till sentencing. And far as that other matter goes, really, there's nothing like having one of your alleged co-conspirators awaiting his ticket to the joint. Speaking of, I'm thinking of watching GoodFellas this weekend. No idea why. --Robert Wilonsky
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FEDERAL JURY CONVICTS DARREN REAGAN OF THEFT OF PUBLIC MONEY
DALLAS - A federal jury in Dallas has convicted Darren L. Reagan, 48, of Desoto, Texas, on all five counts of an indictment charging him with theft of public money, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. Reagan faces a maximum statutory sentence of 50 years in prison, a $1.25 million fine and restitution. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn on October 4, 2008. He was placed on home confinement earlier this month after the government asked that his pre-trial release be revoked because he had made certain threatening statements to family members.
The government presented evidence at trial that from October 1, 2002, through September 1, 2007, Reagan knowingly stole approximately $45,000 in rental housing assistance payments from the Dallas Housing Authority (DHA) in connection with the rental of certain property to his mother-in-law, Leatha Kirven. Reagan falsely claimed to the DHA that he had no blood, marital, or other familiar relationship to Ms. Kirven, and as such, caused DHA to pay him housing assistant payments to which he was not entitled.
Mrs. Kirven testified in a videotaped deposition taken this week from her hospital room that she knew that when she signed up for the Section 8 housing assistance with Mr. Reagan, that she knew it was against the rules. She also testified that she told federal agents, when questioned by them two years ago, that she knew it was wrong.
Darren Reagan testified in his own defense that he wasn't aware of the rules prohibiting him from renting a Section 8 house to a relative and that he didn't have time to read the fine print on the day he went with his elderly mother-in-law to the DHA so that should could sign up as a Section 8 tenant in a Red Bird area house he and his now-estranged wife owned.
Darren L. Reagan is also a defendant in the Dallas City Hall corruption investigation case, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion, two counts of extortion by public officials, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and four counts of tax evasion. That case is scheduled to go to trial in January 2009.
U.S. Attorney Roper praised the investigative efforts of HUD-OIG and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marcus Busch and Sarah Saldaña.