AUBURN — A Lewiston couple has denied charges that they accepted thousands of dollars in federal housing assistance money while failing to disclose extensive real estate holdings and income.

Roda O. Abdi, and her husband, Ali-Nassir H. Ahmed, each pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge of felony theft.

Abdi also was indicted on a misdemeanor charge of attempted theft in connection with trying to redeem federal vouchers earmarked for items needed by new mothers and their children.

The Sun Journal reports that they posted $50,000 surety against the apartment building in which they live and were ordered by a judge to surrender their passports and not leave the state.

Investigators say the couple received roughly $18,000 in rental assistance over two years beginning in 2006.


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