News

Former United Way Employee Pleads Guilty to Stealing Over $375,000 in Donations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - Dorothy Shields Talbot, age 48, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud in connection with a scheme to steal $375,232.16 in donations issued to her employer, United Way of Central Maryland.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According Talbot’s plea agreement, the United Way of Central Maryland was a non-profit charitable organization located in Baltimore. United Way received charitable donations and disbursed funds as directed by donors to support charities in the central Maryland area of Baltimore City and the counties of Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford and Howard. From September 2001 until December 2010, Talbot worked in United Way’s finance department and was responsible for depositing donations into a corporate operating bank account.

According to the plea agreement, in December 2004, Talbot became responsible for closing a checking account that had been used for employee activities. Instead of closing that account, however, Talbot admitted that from December 2004 through December 2010, she deposited donor checks issued to United Way into that account, rather than into the corporate operating account. Talbot caused the mailing address for the checking account to be changed from United Way’s office to her home. Talbot withdrew $375,232.16 of the monies deposited into the checking account, through ATM withdrawals, debits and by writing checks to herself and others. Talbot admitted that she used the $375,232.16 for her own personal benefit. As part of her plea agreement, Talbot is required to pay restitution in that amount.

Talbot faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar has scheduled Talbot’s sentencing for December 9, 2011 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 the FBI for its work in the investigation and praised Assistant U.S. Attorneys Barbara S. Sale and Sean O’Connell, who are prosecuting the case.

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