Community Renewal Team pays $362,000 to settle false claim allegations

Community Renwal Team

HARTFORD — The Community Renewal Team has agreed to pay over $360,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the federal and state False Claims Acts.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said from June 2009 to November 2010, CRT President Lena Rodriguez directed CRT employees to work on a state funded program while billing the federal government in addition to other irregularities.

Officials said in a statement:

“The majority of CRT’s funding has come from federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) and the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”). Federal funds are awarded to CRT directly and indirectly through various state agencies and, in some cases, federal funding is combined with state funding and allocated to CRT. Rodriguez has been the president of CRT since January 2006.
The United States and State of Connecticut allege that, from June 2009 through November 2010, Rodriguez directed that certain CRT employees work on a state funded grant program, called “Home Solutions,” while charging their time to federal grants funded by HHS, HUD and DOE, as well as other state grants passed through the Connecticut Department of Social Services. In addition, between October 2009 and September 2010, CRT improperly charged the time of a budget analyst to a Head Start grant when the employee was working on other unrelated programs. Finally, between June 2010 and April 2013, a CRT program manager for the HHS-funded Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program misappropriated $18,500 for her personal use.”

Officials said CRT and Rodriguez have paid $362,000 as a resolution to the case.

“We have agreed to settle this case after six long years in the interest of putting the matter behind us and moving forward with the crucial work that we do each day,” said CRT’s President and CEO Lena Rodriguez. “Now we can focus all of our efforts on the people we serve.”