Monday, April 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

PHA worker who fleeced agency gets six months in jail

Richard Perri, 50, a participant in a conspiracy to steal some $350,000 in building materials from the Philadelphia Housing Authority, was sentenced Monday to six months in federal prison.

Perri, who was a PHA maintenance officer, resold the materials, which were supposed to be used to repair homes for low-income tenants between 2002 and 2008.

After he was caught, Perri cooperated with prosecutors and provided information about others involved in the thefts, U.S. District Judge J. Timothy Savage noted.

Savage said it would be unfair to punish Perri more severely than one of his recently sentenced PHA co-conspirators. Richard Lewis, who had not cooperated, was given 13 months in prison. Perri testified that Lewis came up with the idea to defraud the housing agency.

Kelvin Jeremiah, PHA's president and CEO, said he was disappointed with the light sentence given to Perri. He said the housing agency until recently had a "culture of corruption."

By Mark Fazlollah

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