June 23, 2018
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Lewiston woman sentenced to federal probation in housing scam

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — A Lewiston woman was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court to two years of federal probation for lying about her household income to receive federal housing assistance.

Azeb Hassan, 41, also was ordered to pay a $250 fine.

In addition, U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby ordered her to pay $2,881 in restitution.

Hassan, who also is known as Lull Hassan, waived indictment on July 5 and pleaded guilty to converting to her own use, or the use of another, vouchers, money and things of value of the United States.

Hassan, according to court documents, received housing benefits between March 2007 and June 2009 through the Lewiston Housing Authority. A person not identified in court documents moved in with Hassan sometime in March 2007, but she did not tell the housing authority that she was no longer the only income earner in the household.

A subsequent investigation showed that that individual owned a business, according to court documents. Deposits for that business were between $250,000 between 2006 and 2008.

Hassan also opened a new bank account in 2008 without reporting to the housing authority. Deposits into that account totaled more than $20,000 in 2008 and more than $10,000 in 2009, according to court documents.

Hassan faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Under her plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland, Hassan waived her right to appeal to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston as long as her sentence was no longer than six months.

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