Mother, Son Indicted for Alleged HUD Fraud

A former executive director of Smithville Housing Authority and her son, who's from Newcastle, are indicted on allegations that they defrauded the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, 62-year-old Brenda Schroeder is charged with first-degree theft by a public servant, submitting false credit applications, and engaging in organized criminal activity.

She was the authority's executive director from 2006 through last May.

Her son, 43-year-old Wendall Bennett of Newcastle, is charged with felony theft and engaging in organized criminal activity.

Investigators say Schroeder illegally gave federal funds to Bennett.

They also say she paid Bennett a salary as a landlord, though he lived hundreds of miles away from the housing authority.

Investigators say Schroeder also falsified paperwork to get government-subsidized housing for at least two dozen family members.

They say some of them came from as far away as Wichita Falls.

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