FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
NOVEMBER 16, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORMER STATE SENATOR THOMAS BROMWELL SENTENCED TO 7 YEARS ON CHARGES OF RACKETEERING CONSPIRACY AND FILING A FALSE TAX RETURN
Agrees to Forfeit Over $2 Million;
Mary Patricia Bromwell Sentenced to a Year and a Day for Mail Fraud
BALTIMORE, Maryland - U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced former Maryland State Senator Thomas L. Bromwell, Sr., age 58, of Baltimore, today to seven years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for racketeering conspiracy and filing a false tax return, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. The conviction relates to former-Senator Bromwell’s corrupt use of his official position and influence in exchange for payments and other benefits. Judge Motz also sentenced Bromwell’s wife, Mary Patricia Bromwell, age 44, to a year and a day in prison, followed by two years of supervised release for mail fraud arising from a related minority-contracting fraud scheme. Judge Motz further ordered the Bromwells to forfeit over $2 million, including their interest in certain bank accounts and their Baltimore County residence.
U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, “I commend the federal prosecutors and agents who overcame a web of corruption, fraud and deceit by conducting a diligent and professional investigation, consistent with the highest standards of the Department of Justice. The investigation has resulted in the convictions of nine defendants for a corruption scheme that affected millions of dollars of state government contracts. This case should send a powerful message that government officials who betray the public trust will be held accountable. Thomas Bromwell brazenly traded his political influence for money, and Mary Patricia Bromwell participated in the scheme by taking nearly $200,000 for a no-show job and deceiving investigators.”
"No corrupt public servant is exempt from FBI scrutiny " stated Special Agent in Charge (SAC) William D. Chase, of the Baltimore Field Office. "This is an unfortunate event for all citizens of Maryland. It is extremely disappointing that Mr. Bromwell used his position to line his pockets, and the pockets of his friends, at the expense of the public who trusted in him. The citizens of Maryland deserve upstanding and ethical public officials serving in their state legislature. The FBI will continue to work with local, state and federal partners to combat public corruption.
Special Agent in Charge, Francis L. Turner, IRS, Criminal Investigation stated "Public officials must comply with the same tax obligations as the citizens they were elected to serve. No one is above the law!"
According to the stipulated statements of facts, Thomas Bromwell, Mary Patricia Bromwell, David Stoffregen, who was the president of the Poole and Kent Corporation (P&K), and others conspired to engage in a criminal money-making enterprise in which former-Senator Bromwell and Mary Patricia Bromwell accepted benefits from Stoffregen and others in exchange for Senator Bromwell using his official influence and position to intervene in business disputes on behalf of P&K. The benefits provided to the Bromwells included the following:
· $192,923 paid to Mary Patricia Bromwell for a no-show job;
· construction work valued at more than $85,000 on the Bromwells’ home;
· the award of a $1.3 million contract to a company that paid Bromwell to bring in business; and
· free labor and materials provided to Thomas Bromwell’s construction company.
In exchange for these benefits, then-Senator Bromwell used his influence in the following ways, among others:
· to help Stoffregen and P&K win a multi-million dollar bid over a competitor with a lower bid, and thereby earn a $1.8 million profit, on the construction of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) Weinberg Building in downtown Baltimore;
· to expedite monthly payments from the Maryland Comptroller’s Office to P&K for work performed on the Juvenile Justice Center project; and
· to intervene on P&K’s behalf in contract payment disputes relating to the UMMS and Juvenile Justice Center projects.
The conspiracy further involved the use of a minority front company, Namco Services Corporation, to obtain construction contracts for P&K. Stoffregen used the front company to disguise payments made to the Bromwells in the course of the conspiracy. Mary Patricia Bromwell posed as an employee of Namco in order to deceive state inspectors.
Thomas Bromwell also admitted that he had filed false tax returns in which he failed to report both personal and business income for the 2000 and 2001 years, and that he had made false statements to federal investigators.
In this and related cases, Stoffregen, age 54, of Towson, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud and filing a false tax return and is scheduled to be sentenced on November 26, 2007 at 11:00 a.m.
Geraldine Forti, age 58, and Michael Forti, age 59, both of Maryland, pleaded guilty on September 6, 2005 to filing a false tax return which failed to report income received from labor and services provided by P&K, Forti, Poole and Kent and Namco for the construction of the Fortis’ home. Michael Forti also pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with his participation in the Namco minority contracting fraud scheme. The Fortis are scheduled to be sentenced on December 7, 2007 beginning at 9:30 a.m.
David M. Jackman, age 51, of Perry Hall, Maryland, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI, when he falsely stated that he had always intended to bill Bromwell for the P&K work performed at his residence. Jackman is scheduled to be sentenced on November 27, 2007 at 4:30 p.m.
James B. Digman, Sr., age 63, of Forest Hill, Maryland, pleaded guilty to lying before a federal grand jury, when he falsely denied any recollection of sending a second, back-dated invoice to the Bromwells for ductwork installed at their residence. Digman is scheduled to be sentenced on December 5, 2007 at 9:15 a.m.
James Eick, age 50, of Perry Hall, Maryland, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with kickbacks on construction projects at a downtown Baltimore office building and is scheduled to be sentenced on November 26, 2007 at 9:00 a.m.
Jeanie Ashfield-Testa, age 64, of Ashburn, Virginia, Stoffregen’s office manager, pleaded guilty to concealing a felony from federal law enforcement in connection with false expense reports submitted by Stoffregen. Ashfield-Testa admitted that she failed to disclose the fraudulent expense reports and her role in altering credit card statements during an FBI interview and during her federal grand jury testimony. She is scheduled to be sentenced on December 6, 2007 at 9:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation for their investigative work, and thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Kathleen O. Gavin and Michael J. Leotta, who are prosecuting the case.