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Former Head Of CT Nonprofit Charged With Stealing From Government Programs

U.S. District Court in New Haven.
U.S. District Court in New Haven. Photo Credit: Google Maps

A reverend in Connecticut is facing decades in prison after allegedly misappropriating funds for personal use from a non-profit organization dedicated to housing people living with HIV and AIDS.

John Durham, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced on Tuesday that New Haven resident Steven Harvin, 53, has been arrested on a criminal complaint charging him with wire fraud and theft from programs receiving federal funds.

According to the complaint, the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program is a federal program dedicated to the housing needs of people living with HIV or AIDS.  Under the HOPWA Program, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development makes grants to local communities, states and nonprofit organizations for projects that benefit low-income persons living with HIV or AIDS and their families.

From August 2015 through September 2016, Harvin served as the president of Zezzo House, a non-profit organization in Hartford that offers housing to families with health challenges. From January 2016 through September that year, Harvin allegedly diverted thousands of dollars in federal funds to his personal use.  During this time, Zezzo House received $70,722 in HOPWA funds, some of which Harvin withdrew in cash for himself or spent on personal expenses.  Harvin also diverted funds from rent checks from Section 8 tenants to his personal use.

Following his arrest, Harvin was arraigned and released on $50,000 bond. He is due back in court later this year, when he will face up to 30 years in prison.

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