Lewiston man gets probation for illegal housing scheme

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PORTLAND — A Lewiston man was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to three years of probation for equity skimming.

Jeffrey Foss, 50, also was ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Foss waived indictment and pleaded guilty in August to two counts of equity skimming related to his management of rental properties in Topsham and Bath that were financed with federal funds.

By pleading guilty, Foss admitted that in 2006 and 2007 he moved funds from reserve accounts for both housing projects into the operating accounts of the housing facilities. He used the money to invest in a construction company, to make a down payment on a house and to pay the operating expenses of his property management firm, according to the prosecution’s version of events to which he pleaded guilty.

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Foss faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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