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Previous Maryland News

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...The theft was discovered by the Internal Revenue Service, which began investigating Bang's activity at casinos after he wouldn't disclose the source of the large cashier's checks he brought with him to gamble."

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....(James) King led a scheme to steer 88 disabled veterans and more than $2 million in taxpayer-funded benefits to sham job-retraining schools in exchange for bribes and kickbacks. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison in Washington after former U.S. service members told a judge how King, 61, of Baltimore, wasted years of their lives and left them with nothing but debt and stolen dreams of post-service careers."

Source: Washington Post.

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Feb. 10, 2019 – “U.S. sues Lockheed Martin over alleged kickback scheme at nuclear cleanup site.   The United States is suing Bethesda-based defense giant Lockheed Martin in connection with an alleged fraudulent kickback scheme related to a $232 million support contract for nuclear waste disposal, the Justice Department announced Friday…Representatives from Mission Support Alliance and Lockheed Martin said their employees had not engaged in any wrongdoing, and both vowed to fight the charges,” the Washington Post reported.

Source: Washington Post. Also see DOJ press release Feb. 8 at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/united-states-files-false-claims-act-suit-against-mission-support-alliance-llc-several


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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 while working in the Maryland state prosecutor’s office before retiring two years ago. And he did it while going blind and even after he lost his sight...Cabezas, with local journalist Joan Jacobson, recently published a memoir of his life and career."  The book is "Eyes of Justice." 

Source: Baltimore Sun

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Feb 07, 2019 Maryland State Police Warning Public About Telephone Scams - (PIKESVILLE, Md.) — Maryland State Police are warning the public about a reported telephone scam in which the caller cloned a state police number and requested personal information from people as part of a criminal investigation. A woman called the Maryland State Police on Thursday morning and reported she had received a call in which  Read the Rest...


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Feb. 4, 2019 - "Chesapeake crab fraud nets businessman 45-month prison sentence, $15,000 fine....The Baltimore Sun followed a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration team looking into tips about Chesapeake crab fraud...During their investigation, NOAA agents sent eight containers of Casey's Seafood crabmeat bought at stores in Delaware and Virginia to a laboratory in College Park for DNA testing. The results confirmed the tip: seven of the eight Casey's containers labeled as "Product of the USA" contained swimming crab found only outside U.S. waters, according to court documents," the Baltimore Sun reports.

Source: Baltimore Sun at https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/environment/bs-md-crab-fraud-20190204-story.html

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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: http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/prince-georges-county-schools-changes-policy-on-reporting-waste-fraud-cases-following-fox-5-report

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Jan. 31, 2019 - The Baltimore County Executive proposed creating an Office of Ethics and Accountability to audit, inspect, evaluate and investigate government operations in order to promote economy and efficiency and to prevent fraud, waste and abuse. The proposal will be introduced to the County Council on February 19.

Source: https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/olszewski-announces-package-of-reforms-to-improve-ethics-and-accountability.

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Jan. 29, 2019- Baltimore City's inspector general and the Baltimore Police Department signed a new agreement that gives the city's fiscal watchdog authority to investigate complaints of fraud and abuse in the department.

WBAL video at https://www.wbaltv.com/article/baltimore-inspector-general-fraud-investigations/26078931

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Jan. 28, 2019- Female Fraud Investigators Were Paid Less Wages Than Males for Performing Equal Work, Federal Agency Charged

BALTIMORE - The Maryland Insurance Administration, Maryland's agency charged with regulating the insurance industry, will pay $36,802 in monetary relief and furnish important equitable relief to settle a federal pay discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced… The EEOC charged that the Maryland Insurance Administration had paid three female fraud investigators lower salaries than it paid to several male fraud investigators, all performing equal work. According to the lawsuit, the payments were based on gender, which is a violation of the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA)…The EPA prohibits pay discrimination based on sex. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process… In addition to $36,802 in back pay and liquidated damages to the employees, the consent decree resolving the lawsuit provides equitable relief, including prohibiting the Maryland Insurance Administration from violating the EPA in the future. The agency must create policies to require specific non-gender-based criteria for setting wages. It will also post a notice specifically outlining its obligations under this statute and report to the EEOC on how it handles any future complaints of sex-based wage discrimination.

Source: https://www.eeoc.gov/

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Jan. 27, 2019 - "Maryland lawmakers are considering removing strict campaign finance restrictions on Prince George’s county executives...The bill being pushed in the General Assembly would repeal statutes prohibiting developers with pending projects in Prince George’s from donating to county executives or slates including them...Nine years ago, (Rushern L. ) Baker  III (D), who took office three weeks after his predecessor was arrested on public corruption charges, led efforts to substantially strengthen the ethics law as part of his effort to rehabilitate the county’s image...But today, lawmakers say the county’s reputation is much improved, and rolling back the restrictions — which are unique to Prince George’s — is necessary for candidates from the county to compete statewide."

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/md-bill-would-loosen-restrictions-on-donations-for-prince-georges-candidates/2019/01/27/4fa6a034-1de1-11e9-8e21-59a09ff1e2a1_story.html?utm_term=.2e968706299c

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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.Maryland will receive $266,951, which will be shared with the federal government. Also on this day, the Maryland Attorney General announced that Maryland has joined the federal government, 32 other states, and the District of Columbia in reaching a $60 million settlement with Walgreen Co. (Walgreens) to settle allegations that Walgreens violated the False Claims Act by billing Medicaid at higher rate than its usual and customary (U&C) rates.

Source: 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, for the purpose of establishing an independent education monitoring unit in the state.  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

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...The breach took place over the course of several months and compromised the names and payment card data collected at Neiman Marcus retail stores throughout the United States.The states’ investigation determined that approximately 370,000 payment cards were compromised, including 8,323 associated with Maryland consumers. At least 9,200 of the payment cards compromised in the breach were used fraudulently.

Source: http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/

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"Alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind told wife to hide assets, feds say

With his accounts frozen and luxury cars towed, Kevin B. Merrill allegedly planned to flash his wife instructions to hide his remaining treasures.Instead, prison guards found the note hidden in the sock of the jailed Towson businessman...Merrill had a fleet of Rolls Royces, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, prosecutors say. Federal agents arrested him in September and raided his $1.06 million home in Baltimore County. He and his business partner have been indicted on federal charges of wire fraud, identity theft, and money laundering...(The two men) have pleaded not guilty... Investors believed they were buying 'consumer debt portfolios,' bundles of debt on student loans, credit cards and car loans. Instead, the businessmen were shifting money from new investors to old investors, prosecutors say, while skimming millions off the top," according to the Baltimore Sun.

Source: Jan. 4, 2019, Baltimore Sun at https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-amanda-merrill-charges-20190103-story.html

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