Brooklyn Park woman sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison for fraud scheme

A 49-year-old woman from Brooklyn Park has been sentenced in relation to a fraud scheme where she posed as a nonprofit organization.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, Clarissa Lynn Combs has been sentenced to just under six years in prison (71 months) for conspiring to commit wire fraud and making a false statement. Combs pleaded guilty to the charges in December 2019. An additional 11 people also pleaded guilty and were sentenced for their roles in the conspiracy.

“Ms. Combs orchestrated a years-long fraud scheme that diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars from some of the most vulnerable members of society, including individuals and families in need of housing. I applaud the work of our investigative partners in bringing this conspiracy to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald in a release.

Court records indicate between April 2012 and Feburary 2019, Combs, a former manager for a Twin Cities nonprofit organization that provides housing and related services to the homeless, devised and participated in with multiple co-conspirators in a scheme to fraudulently obtain at least $684,081.90 in charitable funds from the organization. As part of the scheme, Combs recruited other employees of the nonprofit, as well as her family and friends, to pose as landlords and fictitious homeless clients.

During the investigation, Combs attempted to conceal the scheme and minimize her involvement by making false statements to Special Agents of the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a United States Postal Inspector.

To see a list of those who have been charged and sentenced in this case, click here.