Housing fraud probe targets family, friends of suspect in Indianapolis officer’s death

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By Russ McQuaid

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 9, 2014)-- An investigation that began last spring into fraud and theft allegations lodged against a public housing employee led to the family, friends and associates of the man accused of killing a Metro police officer.

Major Davis II was arrested in July and charged with the murder of Officer Perry Renn, three months after the Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General launched an investigation into Keynosha Shields, who processed payments for the Indianapolis Housing Authority, at Beechwood Garden, an eastside public housing complex. Investigators claim Shields steered more $77,000 in payments based on false or altered invoices to her husband Kevin Shields who performed lawn and maintenance work at the complex.

That probe led to an examination of painting and inspection contracts carried out at Beechwood Garden and work done on the apartments of Latosha Ruffin and Pam Moorman.

Ruffin is the mother of the children of Major Davis II. Moorman is her mother.

The resulting investigation eventually considered the criminal records and federal housing files of approximately 20 people whose case histories stretch back to 1987.

Search warrants listing seven addresses in Indianapolis and Noblesville refer to 572 police reports, 460 arrests, 59 shootings or firearms reports and ten criminal homicides in the last ten years, five of them since 2013.

Pam Moorman is described as the matriarch of a family of, "prolific shoplifters and preofessional grifters."

Moorman has a record of more than 50 arrests for shoplifting.

Ruffin was first apprehended as a child while participating in her mother's shoplifting ring.

She is accused of falsifying documents regarding her relationship to Davis and the amount of financial support he provided her while qualifying for public housing aid.

IMPD SWAT teams served several warrants, including one at the home of Davis' mother, Cynthia Davis, in the 2900 block of Dearborn Street.

Police were seeking documents to determine if Davis had also engaged in housing fraud by providing a home to her 20-year-old son Jrema who was ineligible for housing due to previous gang-related arrest and a declaration that he had moved out last fall.

Jrema Davis was found at the home during the time of the raid and arrested for drug possession, putting his mother's Section 8 housing voucher in jeopardy.

SWAT officers also raided a townhouse at 16 Park on the city's near north side where Vanessa Porter, 43, was arrested on a marijuana charge.

Porter is mother to Tevin Porter and Destiny George.

George is currently serving prison time and is the mother of two small children. Porter, who has a criminal record, posted photographs of himself posing with guns and large sums of money on social media.

He also posted photos of a toddler holding a handgun.

Officers at 16 Park carted away documents and home electronics gear to determine if it was shoplifted or paid for with proceeds from criminal activities.

"The search warrants are part of an ongoing investigation started by the Authority," said IMPD Lt. Chris Bailey, "That began when they found some internal fraud issues or potential fraud issues involving an employee and some contractors who work in public housing."

"I know that some of the people involved are known to IMPD, however we are here today merely in an assisting role."

The murder of Officer Renn during a backyard family cookout on July 5th led investigators to determine a pattern between Davis, his family and associates and other crimes, particularly murders, in Indianapolis;

"Many of our investigations do end up in public housing," said Bailey. "One particular investigator in public housing makes it a goal of his every single time there is a homicide in the city of Indianapolis, regardless of if it's related to public housing or not, he goes back to review and see if the people involved, victims, suspects, other people that were there, have any sort of tie to public housing and investigates whether or not if they are using public housing funds appropriately."