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August 12, 2019

New Haven resident gets probation for embezzlement from nonprofit

The former head of a Hartford nonprofit who embezzled federal funds meant to benefit low-income people with HIV/AIDS has been sentenced to three years of probation, prosecutors say.

Steven F. Harvin, 53, of New Haven, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Hartford to serve the first 60 days of probation in home confinement for stealing almost $33,000 his organization received from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program.

Harvin, who was first arrested in June 2018, was also ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.

Harvin had served as president of Zezzo House Corp. from Aug. 2015 to Sept. 2016. The nonprofit, based on Homestead Avenue, houses individuals and families with health challenges, including HIV and AIDS.

According to investigators, in an eight-month period ending in Aug. 2016, Harvin embezzled almost half the $70,722 Zezzo House received from HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program. He stole the money through cash withdrawals, spent funds on ineligible Zezzo House expenses, and failed to report the use of other funds.

Harvin also diverted Section 8 checks, which are HUD funds granted to low-income families for housing, to his personal use. 

Prosecutors say Harvin misappropriated about $32,854 in HOPWA and Section 8 funds.

The case was investigated by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General and the Hartford Police Department.

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