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A public records investigation shows that someone swiped money meant to help build affordable housing.

COURTESY PHOTO: KOIN 6 NEWS - An investigation shows the city of Portland was defrauded by more than $1.4 million.In April, homeless services nonprofit Central City Concern needed $1.4 million for a new 100-unit affordable housing project called The Starlight in the heart of the Old Town neighborhood. The Portland Housing Bureau had signed a $17 million contract with the nonprofit last March to construct the building, and Central City Concern needed some of the money to cover the latest round of construction costs. So the nonprofit submitted what's known as a "draw request" to the housing bureau, asking to withdraw some of the money awarded to them — this time for $1,468,775.59.

The city did what it does many times every day: OK'd the transfer.

But according to one city official familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak about the investigation, the money was redirected to a different bank account unrelated to Central City Concern. In the time it takes to complete a wire transfer, the city was out $1.4 million. It appears to be the single biggest theft in Portland government history.

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of Pamplin Media Group. Read the full story here.


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