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Previous Maryland News 2019

January

Jan. 27, 2019 - "Maryland lawmakers are considering removing strict campaign finance restrictions on Prince George’s county executives...Source: Washington Post

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Jan. 25, 2019 - The Maryland Attorney General announced that Maryland, together with the federal government and other states, has reached a $209.2 million nationwide settlement with Walgreens Boots Alliance over allegations of engaging in a fraudulent scheme to over dispense insulin pens to Medicare and Medicaid recipients. Source: Maryland Attorney General: http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/

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Senate Bill 92 and House Bill 45, the Accountability in Education Act of 2019, were introduced in both Maryland state legislative bodies on January 11, 2019, Among other things, the intent would be for the unit to provide an annual report that includes specific findings and recommendations related to investigations of disciplinary actions, grievances; alleged cases of fraud, waste and abuse. or unethical conduct. 
Source: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov

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Maryland Attorney General Announces Settlements with Fiat Chrysler and Bosch to Resolve Diesel Cheating Allegations Fiat Must Repair Cars, Pay Consumers and Substantial Penalties; Parts Supplier Bosch Must Pay for Its Role in the VW and Fiat/Chrysler Emissions Scandals. Source: Maryland Attorney General


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January 10, 2019– The Maryland Attorney General announced settlements with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Fiat) and Bosch, resolving allegations the companies engaged in and facilitated cheating diesel emissions tests, defrauding consumers, and causing dangerous and illegal amounts of air pollution. Source: http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/

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January 8, 2019- The Maryland Attorney General announced that he along with the Attorneys General of 42 other states and the District of Columbia, reached a settlement with The Neiman Marcus Group, LLC. Under the terms of the settlement, Neiman Marcus has agreed to pay $1.5 million and implement a number of policies to resolve a multistate investigation into the 2013 breach of customer payment card data at 77 Neiman Marcus stores..Source: http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/

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"Alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind told wife to hide assets, feds say"
Source: Jan. 4, 2019, Baltimore Sun

Februrary

Feb. 23, 2019 - "Byung Il 'Peter' Bang, the former Montgomery County economic development official who admitted to stealing $6.7 million from the county, was sentenced Friday to four years in prison. Source: Washington Post.

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Feb. 15, 2019-"VA official steered 88 disabled veterans to sham job training in $2 million fraud-bribery scheme...." Source: Washington Post.

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Feb. 10, 2019 – “U.S. sues Lockheed Martin over alleged kickback scheme at nuclear cleanup site."    Source: Washington Post. Also see DOJ press release Feb. 8
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Feb. 8, 2019 - "Retired public corruption investigator details history of official graft in Baltimore and Maryland in memoir"- James Cabezas investigated public corruption for three decades.   The book is "Eyes of Justice." Source: Baltimore Sun

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Feb 07, 2019 Maryland State Police Warning Public About Telephone Scams - Source:  Maryland State Police.


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Feb. 4, 2019 - "Chesapeake crab fraud nets businessman 45-month prison sentence, $15,000 fine.  Source: The Baltimore Sun followed a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration team looking into tips about Chesapeake crab fraud...During their investigation,

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Feb. 1, 2019 - Prince George's County schools changes policy on reporting waste, fraud cases following FOX 5 report.  Prince George’s County Public Schools announced a change in its policy following an exclusive report by FOX 5 questioning why police were not notified of hundreds of thousands of dollars that were missing or unaccounted for over the last few years. Source: FOXDC.com


March

March 26, 2019 - Baltimore files antitrust suite against 10 major banks, alleging illegal inflated interest rates for particular bonds for public works — overcharging Baltimore and other municipalities by billions of dollars.

Source: Baltimore Sun

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March 25, 2019  - The Mess at UMMS—Part I: Numerous red flags in University of Maryland Medical System contracting with board members’ firms… Source: MarylandReporter

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March 25, 2019 – A retired public corruption investigator filed a complaint Monday with the Maryland State Prosecutor against Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, alleging she deliberately did not report her Healthy Holly company in annual disclosure forms when she was a state senator..Source: Baltimore Sun

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March 23, 2019 - "A Maryland travel agent accused by customers of scamming them out of thousands of dollars by selling fake flights to Latin American destinations is behind bars again for violating her probation for a prior theft case..(The agent)...was in custody in Prince George's County, News4's sister station Telemundo 44 first reported." Source: NBC4 Washington

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March 22, 2019 - "A hotel management company operator has been charged with submitting fraudulent loan applications to a Maryland bank to buy millions of dollars in commercial and residential properties." Source: AP via the Baltimore Sun

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March 21, 2019 - Medstar Health to Pay U.S. $35 Million to Resolve Allegations that it Paid Kickbacks to a Cardiology Group in Exchange for ReferralsSource: DOJ United States Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

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March 19, 2019- Alcohol, Guns And Tobacco Commission  (Bill in the Maryland Legislature) - "The controversial bill would move regulation of alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline from the comptroller’s office to a new state agency.  Comptroller Peter Franchot said last week that because the legislation would remove the field enforcement division, his office would be unable to investigate tax fraud and abuse... The House version of the bill passed in the Senate Monday night." Source: WAMU.org at Maryland Legislators Make Semi-Final Push for Bills

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March 18, 2019 - The Baltimore County Council passed a bill to create an independent Office of Ethics and Accountability — similar to an inspector general’s office — with subpoena power and the authority to investigate allegations of abuse and fraud in county government. The new agency is estimated to cost $210,000 next year. Source: Baltimore Sun.

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March 18, 2019 - BALTIMORE (AP) — The tax evasion prosecution of Baltimore’s former police commissioner has been linked to the corruption case in which detectives resold seized drugs, conducted robberies and falsified evidence. Source: WTOP.com

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March 15, 2019 - D.C. Attorney General  Sues Maryland Man for Fraudulently Charging Local Adult Soccer League $120K in Rental Fees to Use DCPS-Owned Sports Fields. Source: Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia

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March 13, 2019 -   Silver Spring Man Convicted After Five-Day Federal Trial of Bank Fraud Conspiracy and Aggravated Identity Theft with Losses of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars.  Source: DOJ

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March 12, 2019 - "A former athletic coach from Georgetown University is among those who allegedly took bribes to help parents get their children into the DC-based university as a part of a nationwide college admissions scheme...(Gordon “Gordie” Ernst),...who lived in Chevy Chase, Maryland, was charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering. Ernst was the head coach for Georgetown’s men’s and women’s tennis teams until December 2017...The United States Attorney’s office in Boston announced charges against dozens of people accused in a nationwide college admissions scheme." Sources: WJZ Baltimore and Yale Coach with MD Connection Also Linked to Nationwide College Scandal and the DOJ press release at  and at CNN the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint.

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March 11, 2019 - As part of continued efforts to combat tax fraud and identity theft, the Maryland Comptroller announced that the agency has stopped processing electronic tax returns from 24 tax preparers at locations in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. The immediate suspensions were due to a high volume of questionable returns received.Source: Maryland Comptroller


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March 7, 2019 - A Maryland General Assembly hearing was held on a bill, the Accountability in Education Act of 2019, which in part would create a unit with an Inspector General to provide an annual report that includes specific findings and recommendations related to investigations of disciplinary actions, grievances; alleged cases of fraud, waste and abuse. or unethical conduct.  Hearing on the bill, HB0045 (SB0092), before the House Ways and Means Committee was at 1 PM, March 7, Room 130 in the House of Delegates Building. Video on the portion of the hearing related to the bill starts at 53 minutes into the recording at http://mgahouse.maryland.gov/mga/play/33e63650-e571-41fc-ab4a-9b5f70d0ffe8/?catalog/03e481c7-8a42-4438-a7da-93ff74bdaa4c.

Source: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov.

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March 5, 2019 - Consumers lost more than $1.4 billion to fraud last year, the FTC reports. In Maryland, identity theft reports were the most common, narrowly beating out imposter scams. Marylanders reported losing a total of $18.2 million to fraud in 2018 with a median loss of $350. Source: https://www.wptv.com/news/national/consumers-lost-more-than-1-4-billion-to-fraud-last-year-the-ftc-reports-this-was-the-no-1-scam

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March 3- 9, 2019 - National Consumer Protection Week 2019 this week. FTC partners promote efforts to protect consumers from fraud, identity theft, and other consumer issues. Thursday, March 7 at 12:00 p.m. ET: Facebook Live with Social Security Administration. FTC staff will join colleagues at the Social Security Administration (SSA) on Facebook Live to discuss scams that involve fraudsters pretending to be SSA officials. Consumers will learn about these imposter scams and how to avoid them and more at National Consumer Protection Week 2019 Kicks off Sunday, March 3.

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March 1, 2019 - Maryland Contractor Pleads Guilty to Defrauding International Labor Union.Source: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/maryland-businessman-pleads-guilty-defrauding-international-labor-union

April

April 25, 2019 - "A recent survey found one third of all calls are now considered to be high-risk -- a scam, a fraud, or just a nuisance...'Its about 60 million scam calls to Baltimore residents in a single month, and that's crazy,' said Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail." Source: WBAL-TV 11 News

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April 23, 2019 - The Maryland Attorney General announced five cardiac care providers agreed to pay $81,234.80 to resolve allegations that they submitted false claims for Medicaid services. Source: Maryland Attorney General

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April 20, 2019- " 'Fraudsters are now hiding in plain sight across literally hundreds of social media networks and other digital platforms,' according to Zack Allen, Director of Threat Operations at ZeroFox, a Maryland-based specialist in 'social media and digital protection'." Source: Forbes

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April 17, 2019 - “Inspector general wants info on Baltimore City Council board memberships…Baltimore elected officials are only required to disclose of those they serve on if the entities do business with the city…While (I.G. Isabel Mercedes) Cumming couldn’t address potential investigations, she did acknowledge her office’s ability to probe alleged financial misconduct, waste and fraud by city employees.” Source: The Daily Record

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April 15, 2019 - Cardiac Associates, P.C. has agreed to pay $399,230.35 to settle claims that they submitted false claims to the United States for services not rendered.  Cardiac Associates, P.C. is a medical practice with offices located in Rockville, Olney, Laurel and Germantown, Maryland. The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only.  The settlement is not an admission of liability by Cardiac Associates, P.C., nor a concession by the United States that its claims are not well founded.  Source: United States Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

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April 12, 2019 - Towson Woman Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison for Obtaining More Than $4.3 Million in an Advance Fee Fraud Scheme and for Evading Taxes. Source: United States Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

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April 9, 2019 -Maryland woman loses $30,000 after being offered a $50,000 government grant. Source WMAR Channel 2, Matter for Mallory

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April 6, 2019 -Con artists targeting aging Maryland residents steal millions of dollars. Source: Patch

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April 4, 2019 - Social Security Employee Facing Federal Indictment for a Scheme to Obtain Over $236,000 in Social Security Benefits by Allegedly Submitting Fictitious Claim. Source: United States Atorney's Office, District of Maryland

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April 3, 2019 - One of three defendants in an alleged $360 million Ponzi scheme involving hundreds of investors in Maryland and Virginia pleaded guilty Tuesday in an agreement with federal prosecutors. Source: Washington Post

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April 3, 2019- "The Maryland Senate moved forward on a scaled-back “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future,” setting in motion increased funding and expanded education programs...The bill also now includes a lengthy amendment to create a Maryland Office of the Inspector General of Education that would focus on investigations of waste, fraud and abuse of public funds..."

Source: Maryland Matters

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April 3, 2019 - State Prosecutor has opened investigation into Baltimore Mayor Pugh's 'Health Holly" book sales, her lawyer says. Source: Baltimore Sun

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April 2, 2019: Baltimore Area Tax Preparer Sentenced For Felony Theft And Willfully Filing A False Tax Return. Source: Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor

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April 1, 2019 -Beltsville Man Sentenced to 87 Months in Federal Prison for Stealing Over $4.2 Million in a Business E-Mail Compromise Scheme. Source: United States Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

May

May 17, 2019 -“A team of state auditors has begun a forensic audit of the University of Maryland Medical System, as mandated by state lawmakers in response to a self-dealing scandal that engulfed the system’s board of directors and leadership…Gregory Hook, head of the state’s Office of Legislative Audits, which state lawmakers charged with reviewing the hospital system’s books, said multiple auditors from his office were “on site” at UMMS as of Friday…The forensic audit by the Office of Legislative Audits is distinct from (other reviews), and designed to be more robust, according to state lawmakers, who said they wouldn’t be satisfied with an internal review by UMMS or a company it hired. Hook said his office has a staff of more than 100, including certified public accountants, certified fraud examiners and others trained in forensic accounting.” Source: Baltimore Sun

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May 14, 2019 - A Hanover, Maryland, man pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge for stealing between $550,000 and $1.5 million of wine from his clients, primarily private collectors and commercial establishments…In return for a monthly fee, he would arrange for the transportation of a customer’s wine to a facility in Glen Burnie, Maryland, where it would be inventoried and stored...Unbeknownst to his customers, he offered their wine for sale to wine retailers and brokers around the country, all the while continuing to collect the customers’ monthly storage fees and accept additional wine for storage. Source: U.S. Attorney, District of Maryland

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May 12, 2019 -The Maryland Attorney General announced a multistate lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and 19 of the nation’s largest generic drug manufacturers, alleging a broad conspiracy to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition, and unreasonably restrain trade for more than 100 different generic drugs. Source: Maryland Attorney General

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May 3, 2019 - Fraudster Sentenced To 11 Years In Federal Prison For Stealing The Identities Of Hundreds Of Victims To Fraudulently Obtain More Than $2.2 Million In Tax Refunds. Source:  U.S. Attorney, District of Maryland

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May 2, 2019 -"Owner of The Surrogacy Group Facing Federal Charge for Allegedly Defrauding Clients of Fees Paid to Find and/or Support a Pregnancy Surrogate," according to federal prosecutors...A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. Source: U.S. Attorney, District of Maryland"

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 May 1, 2019 - The Maryland Attorney General charges property management company for misusing homeowner and condo fees. Source: Maryland Attorney General

June

June 28, 2019 -Anne Arundel Medical Center To Pay More Than $3 Million To Settle Federal False Claims Act Allegations. Source: U.S. Attorney District of Maryland

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June 20, 2019 – The Maryland Attorney General and Secretary of State announce $2.5 Million settlement following a landmark lawsuit against sham cancer charities. Source: Maryland Attorney General

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June 14, 2019 - International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and CĂșram Software have agreed to pay $14.8 million to settle allegations under the federal False Claims Act that they made material misrepresentations to the State of Maryland during the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange contract award process for the development of Maryland’s Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) website and IT platform. Source: U.S. Attorney, District of Maryland

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June 11, 2019 - The state of Maryland, some non-profits and other organizations are uniting to combat financial fraud of senior citizens Source: WJZ- CBS Baltimore

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June 10, 2019 -A Baltimore rapper billed himself as a  self-made music sensation. Feds say Chad Focus was built on fraud. Source: Baltimore Sun

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June 7 – The Maryland State Prosecutor announced that the current mayor of the City of District Heights Maryland, was charged in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County with misconduct in office, The Criminal Information alleges that on June 8, 2017, the mayor “signed a letter on City of District Heights’ letterhead authorizing the purchase of approximately $50,000 of Class B and Class C fireworks from Wayne’s World Fireworks and representing that these fireworks were to be used on behalf of the City of District Heights well knowing that the fireworks were being purchased by a personal friend for his own benefit.”  Source: Maryland State Prosecutor

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June 6, 2019 - Final Defendant Pleads Guilty to $550 Million Ponzi Scheme—One of the Largest Ever Charged in Maryland. Source: U.S. Attorney, District of Maryland.

July

July 31, 2019 - Former Financial Advisor Sentenced To 20 Years In Federal Prison For Her Conviction On 17 Federal Charges Related To $20 Million Ponzi Scheme. Source: U.S. Attorney, District of Maryland.

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July 31, 2019 Maryland Attorney General  Announces Settlement with Jason Barry Oseroff and Evergreen Management LLC, a property management company for homeowners associations (“HOAs”) and condominiums, for misappropriating at least $2 million entrusted to them by at least 1,524 consumers. Source MD Attorney General.

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July 23, 2019 - CONSUMER ALERT: Scammers Are Sending Fake Checks to Swindle Consumers Out of Thousands of Dollars. Source: MD Attorney General.

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July 22, 2019 -Maryland Attorney General Announces $600 Million Settlement with Equifax following 2017 data breach.

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July 17, 2019 -SEC Obtains Asset Freeze in Microcap Pump and Dump Scheme Targeting Elderly Retail Investors. Source: SEC

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July 8, 2019 - Fraudster Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Scheme in Which She Defrauded Five Victims of More Than $1.2 Million.  Source: U.S. Attorney District of Maryland

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July 3, 2019 -Silver Spring Man Sentenced To 75 Months In Federal Prison For Bank Fraud Conspiracy And Aggravated Identity Theft With Losses Of Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars. Source: U.S. Attorney District of Maryland

August

Aug. 26, 2019- State Police Recover Victim’s $17,500 While Investigating Cecil County Phone/Computer Scam. Source: CBS Baltimore.

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Aug. 25, 201

Aug. 28, 2019 - Former Chief Financial Officer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Conspiracy Related to $20 Million Ponzi Scheme. Source: U.S. Attorney District of Maryland.

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9 -  An Indiana newspaper article on payroll processing scandals mentioned Maryland's commission to examine possible regulation of payroll firms after a scandal in Maryland in 2013. At least 9 other states have laws or policies relating to the regulation of payroll companies.  Source: South Bend Tribune.


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Aug. 22, 2019 - The MD Attorney General announced 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies have agreed to adopt eight principles to fight illegal robocalls. Source: MD Attorney General.

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Aug. 22, 2019 - Owner of Three Construction Companies Pleads Guilty to Scheme to Defraud a Customer of More Than $1.7 Million Source: US Attorney District of Maryland.

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Aug. 20, 2019 -Owner of Frederick Payroll Processing Business Pleads Guilty to Federal Fraud and Tax Charges Related to a Fraud Scheme With Losses of More Than $1.6 Million. Source: US Attorney District of Maryland.


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Aug. 15, 2019 - The State Prosecutor Selection and Disabilities Commission will hold a meeting at 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at the Office of the Attorney General at 200 Saint Paul Place, Baltimore, Maryland. The public is invited to attend. Source: Maryland State Prosecutor.


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Aug. 14, 2019 – The Maryland Attorney announced that his Securities Division is participating in the nationwide “Operation Cryptosweep,” an initiative of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).Since the beginning of the year, 35 enforcement actions against Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency-related investment products have been completed by state and provincial securities regulators in the United States and Canada.

Also, the Maryland Securities Division announced a new NASAA video that examines common crypto investment schemes and provides instructions on guarding against becoming a victim. Source:  MD Attorney General.

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Aug. 13, 2019 - Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge Relating to a Scheme to Provide Fraudulent Maryland Driver’s Licenses to Applicants Who Paid a Fee. Conspiracy Included Bribe Payments to Two Employees of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. Source: U.S. Attorney, District of Maryland.

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Aug. 7, 2019 -Former Maryland Insurance Agent and Financial Planner Sentenced to Almost Five Years in Federal Prison for $2.8 Million Fraud Scheme. Source: US DOJ.  Source: U.S. Attorney, District of Maryland.

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Aug. 7, 2019 -Maryland men charged with stealing $8 million in disaster aid funds. Source: Baltimore Sun.


September


The Sept. issue of Fraud Magazine mentions a University of Baltimore study that estimates marketers are expected to lose $1.3 billion this year in online ad spending because of fake influencers and followers. Source: University of Baltimore press release.

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Sept. 20 - A Maryland political consultant has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a scheme to solicit millions in contributions through “scam” political action committees that were portrayed as supporting candidates and other causes, federal prosecutors said. Source: Washington Post.


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Sept.10, 2019- Former Union Treasurer Sentenced To 2 Years In Federal Prison For Embezzling At Least $82,000 In Union Funds. Source: DOJ Maryland.

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Sept. 3, 2019 - Ex-White House aide defends self on witness stand in post-Katrina immigration fraud trial.  Source: WWL-TV, Channel 4 New Orleans.

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Sept. 1 2019 - A Maryland man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for his role in a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of more than $20 million.  Source: NBC Washington.

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