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Former employee embezzled over $465,000 from City of Amarillo

A former Amarillo city employee faces up to five years in federal prison for embezzling nearly half a million dollars meant to house the city's homeless population.

Amy Dixon, who is not in custody, is expected to appear June 17 before a U.S. Magistrate judge and plead guilty to a count of conspiracy to embezzle from a federally funded program.

Court records show she is pleading to an information and will be waiving an indictment by a grand jury.

Her charge stems from an investigation that began in 2023 when Amarillo city officials noticed discrepancies in a grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Dixon, who worked for the City of Amarillo's Community Development Department from 2012 to 2023, was responsible for using the grant money to pay landlords to house the city's homeless population, according to plea paperwork filed Monday.

She was also responsible for coordinating inspections of the properties to ensure they aligned with HUD's living standards.

Dixon is admitting that from September 2020 to April 2023, she submitted 223 fraudulent payment vouchers that resulted in 66 checks written to a bogus landlord that totaled about $465,511.65, which she funneled to her personal bank accounts.

The documents state she used a relative's personal information to create a bogus landlord to recieve the grant money.

About seven months later, Dixon took advantage of a COVID policy change that opened the property inspections to other providers, during which she processed payments for properties she falsely claimed was owned by the relative.

The scheme continued until April 2023, when Dixon was moved to the city's finance department.

The court documents state Dixon learned the scheme from another former city employee, with whom she conspired to embezzle the money. However, it appears for now that she is the only person facing charges in connection with the scheme.

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