Stanton couple sentenced to probation in federal case - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

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Stanton couple sentenced to probation in federal case

Monica and Romero Maldonado (Source: KWES) Monica and Romero Maldonado (Source: KWES)
Stanton Housing Authority serves the poor, disabled and elderly. (Source: KWES) Stanton Housing Authority serves the poor, disabled and elderly. (Source: KWES)
Board members and tenants wait for the Maldonados outside the courthouse. (Source: KWES) Board members and tenants wait for the Maldonados outside the courthouse. (Source: KWES)
STANTON, TX (KWES) -

Thursday morning Monica and Romero Maldonado were sentenced in federal court for embezzling money from the Stanton Housing Authority.

Both were sentenced to five years probation, ordered to pay $31,957.28 in restitution and must do 300 hours of community service.

Monica Maldonado served as Executive Director of the Stanton Housing Authority in 2011 through August 2014. Her husband, Romero Maldonado worked part-time with the maintenance department.

Court documents accuse both of using business credit cards for personal use. The Stanton Housing Authority estimates about $360,000 in federal funds were misappropriated.

"They should have gone to prison or serve some time in prison," said Executive Director Robert Bennett of the Stanton Housing Authority.

"I noticed there were large amounts of checks that were signed over to her for sick leave," said Vice President Missy Hernandez of the Stanton Housing Authority. "We know we don't get paid for sick leave and vacation time, there was a godly amount of money that was given to her in the thousands."

The housing authority said the Maldonado's misused funds for the family, used it to buy equipment for Romero's construction work and went on vacation.

"I don't feel justice was served because like I said, there was over $300,000 that was taken and taken advantage of," said Hernandez. "I do believe that the restitution that was given to her was a very small portion."

Hernandez said after Monica claimed some residents didn't make payments, several tenants were evicted from their homes.

"The ones that did everything to try to stay in a home because it was when the oil business was up. There was no place for them to go stay," said Hernandez.

The Stanton Housing Authority said they are now in a good financial state and will continue to move forward.

"We are doing everything exactly by the regulations," said Bennett. "We are moving forward with tenants being happy and myself running the property the way its supposed to be ran."

NewsWest 9 tried speaking to the Maldonados and Monica's attorney but they refused to comment.

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