From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon:
EUGENE, Ore. – On Thursday, March 9, 2017, a federal jury found a Springfield, Ore. property manager guilty of wire fraud and theft. Parthava Behesht Nejad, 82, was convicted of stealing approximately $150,000 in welfare benefits by concealing his use and control of rental properties worth more than $600,000. Nejad will be sentenced on June 13, 2017 before U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken.
Federal agents began investigating Nejad in 2013 after social workers reported that he was the landlord for numerous people receiving disability benefits. Further investigation determined that Nejad was the president of the Parthava Behesht Nejad International Foundation, which owned eight rental properties in north Springfield, and had been receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, and Medicaid benefits since 2003.
For more than a decade, Nejad claimed he had no income, owned no assets, and had only one bank account containing a few hundred dollars. In reality, Nejad’s properties had been generating substantial rental income for years. Federal agents also discovered a bank account Nejad had concealed from welfare agencies that at times contained more than $30,000.
According to court records and trial testimony, Nejad acquired the properties and transferred them to his foundation prior to applying for welfare benefits in 2003. Nejad told the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and others that his foundation, incorporated in Oregon in 1986, was a church and provided temporary housing for victims of religious persecution. In fact, Nejad had operated the properties as a rental business since the 1980s.
This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of Inspector General in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Investigation and the Oregon Department of Human Services. It was prosecuted by Helen Cooper and Amy Potter, Assistant United States Attorneys for the District of Oregon.