News

Former Executive Director of a Baltimore Non-profit Corporation Pleads Guilty to Stealing over $233,000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - Victor Frierson, age 56, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud arising from a scheme to steal more than $233,000 from a Baltimore non-profit corporation.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to Frierson’s plea agreement, from 2000 to June of 2009 Frierson served as executive director of a Baltimore non-profit corporation founded in 1996 by a coalition of community residents in partnership with Sinai Hospital. The non-profit was established to develop resources that would improve the overall health and well-being of individuals and families in the Park Heights community of Baltimore. Frierson coordinated the operations of the non-profit, including fund raising and budget oversight.

In 2004 the non-profit hired an accounting firm to conduct its annual audit and prepare a financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2003. No further audits were conducted, although Frierson falsely represented that audits were conducted annually. Frierson created false documents in the style and format of the 2003 audit report, one of which he provided to a bank in support of the non-profit’s commercial loan application.

From March 2006 to June 2009, Frierson stole at least $233,606 from bank accounts held by the non-profit and deposited the money in his personal bank accounts. Frierson used the funds to pay personal debts, such as utility and service providers, insurance and credit card debts. Frierson also used the falsely created audit reports to cover up his theft from the non-profit’s accounts.

Frierson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,00 or twice the amount of loss. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett scheduled his sentencing for November 3, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.

This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark W. Crooks, who is prosecuting the case.

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