General Manager of Silver Spring Country Club Pleads Guilty to Stealing over $1.8 Million from Club Accounts

May 15, 2009

Greenbelt, Maryland - Sajjad Nazar Mahar, age 49, of Kearneysville, West Virginia pleaded guilty today to mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a scheme to steal funds from his former employer, a country club in Silver Spring, Maryland, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

Mahar pleaded guilty to 17 counts of the superseding indictment. According to the indictment and court documents, Mahar was the general manager of the country club. From 2001 to 2006 Mahar created fictitious employees, kept former employees on the payroll and placed individuals on the payroll who provided personal services to Mahar (the “ghost employees”). Mahar caused electronic payments to be made from the country club to the ghost employees, and that money was subsequently deposited into his personal accounts.

Mahar also wrote checks drawn on the country club accounts to pay his personal expenses, and to lease and purchase vehicles for his personal use. Mahar also wrote checks made payable directly to Mahar Farms, a business which he owned.

As part of his plea, Mahar is subject to forfeiture of $1,893,591, the amount stolen from the country club, including property belonging to him.

Mahar faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each of the 14 counts of mail and wire fraud; and 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the value of the criminally-derived property for each of the three counts of money laundering. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus scheduled sentencing for October 19, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys David I. Salem and Christen Sproule, who are prosecuting the case.


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