Ex-homeless shelter head charged with stealing $1.5M

Massachusetts

BOSTON (AP) — The former head of a Massachusetts homeless shelter stole about $1.5 million in part by secretly renting properties he owned to the shelter at above-market rates, prosecutors said Thursday.

Manuel Duran, 69, then falsely certified compliance with state regulations designed to detect such actions, according to a statement from the office of state Attorney General Maura Healey. He faces arraignment Oct. 20 on multiple charges of perjury, larceny and making false statements in corporate books.

Duran is the former executive director of Casa Nueva Vida, a publicly funded nonprofit with locations in Boston and Lawrence. It shelters about 150 families at more than a dozen locations.

Authorities allege Duran leased four of his privately-owned properties and one owned by a relative to the shelter. He then signed annual disclosure forms under oath that falsely said the organization was not a party to any transaction in which any of its officers, directors, or trustees had a material financial interest, authorities said.

The investigation started with an anonymous tip.

Duran’s lawyer, Thomas Dwyer Jr., told The Boston Globe the indictment was “a sad day for my client and his family,” and pointed out that his client has dedicated his life to rehousing homeless families.

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