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Former Housing Authority manager sentenced to federal prison for stealing funds

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A former manager with the Housing Authority was sentenced to 51 months in prison for working with his two brothers to steal more than $500,000 from the public agency.

The former manager of the City of L.A.'s Housing Authority construction program was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison Monday for conspiring with two siblings to steal more than half-a-million dollars from the public agency. 

Victor Taracena, 41, will also pay $526,000 in restitution to the agency. He and his brothers, Diego and Bennett Taracena, pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy charges. According to prosecutors, Diego and Bennett Taracena set up sham companies to receive contracts from the Housing Authority. They received payments to build housing compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, but that work was never done.

Victor Taracena received $106,975 in kickbacks from his brothers. At least $30,000 was wired to a Guatamalan bank account and used to purchase property there. Victor Taracena was living in Guatemala until June when he was returned to the states to face federal charges.