Criminal Justice News

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Former PHA Employee Sentenced to Prison for Extortion and Obstruction

PHILADELPHIA—Kerri Bizzell, 43, of Philadelphia, a former PHA employee, was sentenced today to 50 months in prison for extortion and the obstruction of a grand jury proceeding, announced Zane Dave Memeger. Bizzell was a manager of the PHA’s small repair and renovation contracts when she abused her position to extort kickbacks in return for the award of work. The indictment claims that over the period of about six months, Bizzell extorted and agreed to accept from two different contractors approximately $25,000. When she learned of the grand jury’s investigation into the extortion, she attempted to prevent one of the contractors from disclosing payments to her. Bizzell pleaded guilty May 4, 2011, to two counts of extortion and one count of obstruction.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg ordered Bizzell to pay restitution in the amount of $25,000.

The case was investigated by the FBI and by the HUD-Office of the Inspector General and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Pamela Foa.

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