Ron Artest, Sister Investigated For Welfare Fraud

6 News in Indianapolis, via YouBeenBlinded.com, reports that Ron Artest and his sister, 36-year-old Latoya Holmes-Ivey, “are at the center of a welfare fraud investigation.

Ron Artest LaToya Holmes-Ivey

Police and housing authorities raided the home and her three children rent at 336 E. Burgess Ave. Wednesday morning.

Artest’s sister reportedly received up to $34,000 in “taxpayer-supported rent assistance” because she claimed no income. But investigators indicated she was also allegedly receiving money from Artest for all of her bills.

Most importantly, Artest was allegedly behind the scheme, directing his sister to apply for federal assistance.

The tip came from a former CPA at Tennessee-based TriStar Sports and Entertainment, the company that represents Artest, who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to court documents, the ex-employee sent an e-mail to the Housing and Urban Development Office in Indianapolis claiming that TriStar, under the direction of Artest, was using one of his bank accounts to pay all of Holmes-Ivey’s.

Indianapolis Housing Agency Executive Director Bud Meyers, who helped direct the raid of Artest’s sister’s home said, “The source of the income doesn’t matter. What matters is that she did not report the money.”

Holmes-Ivey neighbor reax:

“I never understood why she was on assistance because of that, when she told me he was her brother. The people who do need the assistance don’t get it, when the people who don’t need it get a lot of time.”

“If you have a brother like that anyway, why do you to commit fraud or whatever?”

If true, it’s unbelievable Artest would direct his sister to do something like this. That is, unless he was running short of money, which would be impossible to believe at this juncture.

Then again, when Artest was with the Bulls and had just signed a contract worth $5M, he applied for a job with Circuit City in an attempt to get the employee discount, so nothing should surprise us.