A former City of Amarillo employee has pleaded guilty to embezzling over $465,000 in funds that were to be used to shelter homeless people.

44-year-old Amy Dixon, the City of Amarillo’s former Homeless Management Information Specialist, pleaded guilty on June 17 to a criminal information charging conspiracy to embezzle from a federally funded program.

Dixon was responsible for distributing funds to local landlords through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Emergency Solutions Grant Program, communicated with property owners who were leasing their properties through the program, assisted in completing lease agreements, coordinated physical inspections of their properties, and assembled payment voucher packages.

Dixon used a relative’s personal information to create a fake landlord in Sept 2020. Dixon then used this fake landlord to create fraudulent payment voucher packages.

She told the members of the City of Amarillo’s Finance Department to call her when the vouchers were ready, then she would sign the relative’s name on the checks and deposit them into her personal bank account.

In April 2021, when HUD announced that it would accept inspections completed by outside companies, Dixon began to process payments for fake properties.

Dixon created a total of 223 fraudulent payment vouchers. This resulted in 66 checks written to fake landlords and a total loss of $465,511.65.

Dixon faces up to five years in federal prison.