This lawsuit, brought under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq., alleges that the J.L. Gray Company, and its related entities, Logan Estates 2017, LLLP, Parkside Manor Limited Partnership, and JLG Properties LLC, submitted false statements, certifications and claims for payment with respect to whether up to 70 apartment complexes were built and operated in compliance with the federal architectural accessibility requirements in the Fair Housing Act, Section 504, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Plaintiff-Relator Marcie McGuinn was formerly an Area Loan Specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development (“USDA/RD”) who attempted to enforce the accessibility requirements against the Defendants, with limited success. On behalf of the federal government, she now seeks to recover federal funds Defendants have received from USDA/RD for construction and rental subsidies for apartment complexes in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Utah and Arizona. The lawsuit was filed on January 10, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.
Congress authorized a number of USDA/RD programs to support the development of affordable housing for lower-income households in rural areas, and required that multifamily apartment complexes built and operated with USDA/RD funding be accessible to people with disabilities. The complaint alleges that, given their extensive involvement in the development and management of dozens of affordable rental communities in five states for over thirty-years, Defendants knew of the USDA/RD housing requirements, and knew they were not complying with those requirements while securing as much as $90 million in federal funds. In doing so, J.L. Gray and its affiliates deprived the federal government and people with disabilities affordable and accessible housing.
The Relman Colfax case team includes Michael Allen and Kali Schellenberg with paralegal assistance from Isabelle Charo and Joëlle Simeu. Our co-counsel is Robert Collins with Collins Law Office in Olathe, Kansas.