Stillwater couple sentenced for theft of public money

MINNEAPOLIS—A 38-year-old Stillwater man was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court for aiding and abetting theft of public money.

U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz sentenced Ethan Eugene Hayward to four months of home confinement and three years of probation on one count of aiding and abetting theft of public money. Schiltz also ordered Hayward to pay $17,000 in restitution, to be paid jointly with his co-defendant and ex-wife, Anna Marie Rosenthal, 32, of Stillwater.

Hayward, who was indicted Nov. 22, 2011, pleaded guilty on Feb. 24. On Feb. 1, Rosenthal was charged with one count of making a false statement to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”).

Rosenthal, who pleaded guilty on Feb. 24, was sentenced to three years of probation.

In their plea agreements, Hayward and Rosenthal admitted that from Dec. 1, 2006, until Oct. 1, 2010, they stole more than $21,700 in housing assistance payments from HUD. Hayward and Rosenthal acknowledged that they consistently failed to disclose Hayward’s monthly Social Security benefits and Rosenthal’s income to HUD.

Had Hayward and Rosenthal truthfully reported their benefits and income, they would not have qualified for the amount of assistance they received from December 2006 through December 2008 and would not have been eligible for any assistance in 2009 and 2010.

The couple’s false statements resulted in HUD paying them approximately $21,753 in benefits, at least $17,000 of which they were not entitled to receive.

This case was the result of an investigation by HUD’s Office of Inspector General with assistance from the Metes and Bounds Management Co. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lola A. Velazquez-Aguilu and Kevin S. Ueland.