Local developer picked to rebuild and dramatically expand South Boston housing project

The BHA has selected WinnDevelopment to completely replace the 1,000-unit Mary Ellen McCormack project and add roughly 2,000 more units to the 27-acre site that will include market-rate rentals and condominiums.

The company - no relation to the casino company - will "rebuild the site into a vibrant mixed-income community with a thoughtful design that embraces the existing residents and connects with the surrounding neighborhood," the mayor's office said in a statement.

Mary Ellen McCormack is the city's oldest public-housing project, built in the 1930s. It currently consists of 27 three- and four-story walk-up buildings.

Current residents will be offered units in other BHA developments or Section 8 vouchers during the reconstruction of the public-housing part of the project - and will be offered first dibs on the new units there.

To pay for the redevelopment of the public-housing units, Winn will build 2,000 additional units ranging from "workforce" units aimed at people making roughly the area median income to market-rate apartments and condos. The city says that all 3,000 units will be "of identical quality and integrated evenly among the newly constructed buildings."

Winn's proposal also includes "a town square, large-scale community center, branch library and neighborhood supermarket."

Lawyers had to threaten BPD with a lawsuit to get documents that helped free man imprisoned for 38 years

Jeffrey Pyle writes about the legal wrangling with BPD over documents from a long-closed murder case that ultimately led to Frederick Clay being freed after 38 years for a Roslindale murder for which he had always maintained his innocence - and why that should matter to you.

Dorchester man pleads guilty to role in $4-million bank fraud

Charles Washington, 44, admitted today he led a ring that used signatures and other personal information from wealthy people to gain access to $4 million in bank accounts - and that he helped siphon out $2 million of that amount.

Washington is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 2, the US Attorney's office reports.

Washington was arrested last June. According to the US Attorney's office:

Washington obtained bank account information, personally identifiable information, and sample signatures for bank customers with high balances. He recruited runners to impersonate the account holders at bank branches in order to make unauthorized withdrawals and obtained and distributed fake driver’s licenses to the runners that bore the runners’ photographs with the account holders’ personal information. Washington instructed the runners on how to forge the victims’ signatures. To avoid detection, runners withdrew money from victims’ accounts at several different bank branches.

Washington and others also recruited runners to open bank accounts (known as drop accounts) in the name of non-existent businesses (known as shell business). The shell businesses were registered and named as if they were title companies, property management companies, contracting businesses, and other businesses for which incoming large-dollar wire transfers would not be unusual. Washington provided the shell businesses’ information to co-conspirators who made unauthorized wire transfers in the hundreds of thousands of dollars into the drop accounts. Once the drop accounts were funded with unauthorized wire transfers, Washington and co-conspirators accompanied runners to bank branches to withdraw the money -- in cash, by check, or by wire transfers to other drop accounts -- before the victims of the unauthorized wire transfers realized that their accounts had been compromised.

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