FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
AUGUST 14, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORMER EMPLOYEE AT FREESTATE CHALLENGE ACADEMY PLEADS GUILTY TO STEALING PROGRAM FUNDS
Baltimore, Maryland - Wanda O. Quarles, formerly Wanda O. Brumfield, age 38, of Hampton, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to theft from programs receiving federal funds, specifically, the Freestate ChalleNGe Academy, where she previously worked as an administrative aide, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the plea agreement presented to the court, from April 2000 through February 2004, Quarles, a State of Maryland employee, worked as an administrative aide at Freestate ChalleNGe Academy (“FCA”), which operates at the Aberdeen Proving Ground and is funded with both State of Maryland and federal funds. FCA’s mission is to assist at-risk adolescents to develop self-discipline and leadership skills. Quarles’ duties included admissions of cadets, as well as handling personnel and payroll matters.
When a former FCA drill instructor moved to South Carolina in the Spring of 2000, Quarles kept him on FCA’s payroll through February 2004, preparing time cards which purported to show that the former drill instructor was still working at FCA and picking up the pay checks that were issued. Quarles then deposited the checks either into the former drill instructor’s bank account or into her own bank account. Through this scheme, Quarles caused FCA to issue approximately 100 paychecks with a total payroll cost of $86,703.32.
Quarles faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge J Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for October 11, 2007 at 9:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Biran, who is prosecuting the case.