Former Portland-area nonprofit director pleads guilty to stealing COVID relief funds

Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 1:09 PM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - A former Portland-area nonprofit director pleaded guilty Monday to stealing more than $320,000 in COVID relief funds for small businesses.

In 2017, Theodore Johnson, age 62, began working as the director of operations for Ten Penny International Housing Foundation, an Oregon-based nonprofit helping people with affordable housing and rental assistance.

In March 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act to provide emergency financial assistance. Johnson fraudulently obtained government funds on behalf of Ten Penny. He falsely claimed that Ten Penny employed 16 people and submitted fraudulent tax documents with counterfeit IRS stamps.

Ten Penny received a loan of more than $143,000. Two months later, Johnson submitted two more fraudulent applications and falsely claimed that he had used up the entire first loan on eligible expenses. He was issued a second loan of $130,000.

Johnson also applied for the Oregon Cares Fun on behalf of Ten Penny and received about $35,000.

In October 2022, Johnson was charged with one count of bank fraud. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, and five years of supervised release.