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NEW ORLEANS -- Two people accused of defrauding the Housing Authority of New Orleans have pleaded guilty in federal court.

Janice Staves, 55, and James Youngblood, 69, now face up to five years behind bars for conspiracy to commit theft of federal funds.

According to court documents, Staves, who was as a purchasing clerk at HANO until 2009, devised a way to embezzle money by paying Youngblood's construction company for work. That was never actually done.

In return, more than $100,000 was allegedly deposited into bank accounts controlled by Staves.

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