The U.S. government has charged an employee of a Portland property management company with embezzling federal funds meant to help subsidize affordable housing in Maine.

Timothy Gallagher, 46, a resident of Jay, is accused of embezzling at least $80,000 as he worked as a construction manager for Portland-based Stanford Management LLC, according to the criminal complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Stanford Management is a property management company based in Portland that manages 80 affordable housing properties throughout Maine and western Pennsylvania, according to its website. Its owner and CEO is Rosa Scarcelli, who ran for governor as a Democrat in 2010.

The federal government alleges that Gallagher between May 2014 and November 2014 directed $251,073 in federal subsidies to a construction company he owned called Harley Construction, a fact he hid from Stanford. The funds were meant to subsidize work being done on nine of Stanford’s properties in Maine, but Gallagher only paid $171,434 to subcontractors and pocketed the other $79,639, the government claims.

Stanford Management fired Gallagher in January 2015, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development began investigating him three months later, according to the complaint.

Gallagher is charged with embezzlement, a Class C felony, and faces up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines if found guilty. He made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Portland on Aug. 19.

In an interview with an unnamed Stanford representative, Gallagher allegedly admitted he knew he was required to disclose his interest in Harley Construction, but didn’t because “he saw it as a way to make money by acting as the general contractor on these projects,” according to affidavit filed by HUD investigator Stephen Tufts.

Gallagher had told Stanford that Harley was owned by Jon Branmeir, but that he was “a silent partner who does nothing for Harley and does not go to construction sites.”

Investigators interviewed a subcontractor that Gallagher had hired to do some of the work on the nine housing projects. The subcontractor said Gallagher told him in December that he was afraid he’d be fired, and possibly arrested, because Stanford had learned he owned Harley. After Gallagher was fired, he asked the subcontractor to pose as Branmeir so Stanford would release money for Harley subcontractors. The subcontractor refused.

A Stanford employee told investigators that in February she met with a man claiming to be Branmeir “from Harley,” but wouldn’t show identification.

According to Harley’s bank account at Androscoggin Savings Bank, Gallagher was the only authorized signatory. Branmeir was not authorized on the account, according to investigators.

Gallagher was released after signing a bond agreement.

The Morning Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

Whit Richardson can be contacted at 791-6463 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: whit_richardson

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