HONESDALE – The authorities Tuesday were searching for a 42-year-old woman accused of fraudulently obtaining $72,102 in rental assistance and utility allowance payments.

Wayne County detectives have an arrest warrant for Tawana Dees, 42, originally from Bushkill, who is sought on felony charges of theft by deception and making false statements.

Dees was a participant in the Choice Housing and Voucher Program administered by the Wayne County Housing Authority, which falls under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Housing Choice Voucher Program assists eligible families with monthly rental expenses. The program participants are required to report all household members and all household income on annual certifications.

On July 25 the HUD Office of Inspector General filed a complaint with the Wayne County detectives alleging Dees failed to be truthful on her household composition and household income forms, according to District Attorney Janine Edwards.

Specifically, Dees failed to report that numerous other people were also living with her in a subsidized residence, the DA said.

Officials believe Dees is no longer in the area and may be living out-of-state. Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts is asked to contact Wayne County Detective Michael McMorrow at (570) 253-4912.