A former property manager for a Portland apartment complex has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to embezzling money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and low-income renters.

Kelly Ballinger, 57, of Glenburn, faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 on the embezzlement charge and up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 on the charge of altering money orders. The court may also order Ballinger to pay restitution to HUD.

From around Dec. 2017 to June 2021, Ballinger stole rent payments made by tenants receiving federal vouchers by directing them to pay their rent with blank postal money orders and then putting her or her colleague Kathleen Conway’s name on the payee line.

She also deflated tenants’ incomes so HUD would pay a larger share of the rent.

Conway, 70, pled guilty to embezzlement on Aug. 2 and is awaiting sentencing.

The case was investigated by HUD’s Office of the Inspector General and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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