Boston homeless shelter boss Manuel Duran accused of pocketing $2M

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The director of a Boston homeless shelter allegedly stole more than $2 million in state funding for his own personal use, according to the Massachusetts State Attorney General’s Office.

Manuel Duran, the former executive director and president of Casa Nueva Vida [CNV] allegedly established shell companies to purchase properties he would then lease to the organization at above-market rates, pocketing the difference, according to Attorney General Maura Healy.

As a result, roughly $2 million in state funding for inflated rental payments and improvements to properties he already owned were funneled to him, a civil complaint filed on Monday in Suffolk County Superior Court alleges.

Duran was also criminally indicted by a Suffolk County Grand Jury on Monday.

“For many years and through various illegal schemes, Duran abused his position as the head of a non-profit homeless shelter to improperly funnel state funds to himself,” AG Maura  Healey said in a statement on Thursday.

Manuel Duran, the former executive director and president of Casa Nueva Vida.LinkedIn

Four of Duran’s bank accounts were frozen Monday in the amount of $2 million, the AG’s Office said, so he cannot flee the state with cash, noting he has just sold several properties.

“We’ve taken action to hold him accountable for allegedly lining his pockets with millions of dollars in state funding meant for the shelter and the families it serves.”

Duran served in a number of leadership positions at CNV from 2003 to 2019. The organization is nonprofit, with 92 percent of its funding coming from the state from 2015 to 2019.

From 2014-2019, the AG alleges he failed to disclose his own business transactions or  “related party transactions” within the CNV, leading the organization to sign a $33 million contract with the Department of Housing and Community Development for emergency homeless shelter services.

“By not disclosing information regarding his related party transactions with CNV, Duran made it impossible for the state to evaluate CNV’s continued eligibility as a contractor,” the AG’s Office said.