Harford County Business Owner Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison In Fraud Scheme Involving over $2.3 Million

October 6, 2008

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Michael Murray, age 61, of Street, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for wire fraud in connection with a scheme to establish bogus credit with 71 companies in order to receive $2,304,833.60 in products for which he did not pay, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to the plea agreement, in August 2006, Murray, owner of Chesapeake Supply, Inc. located on Shannon Drive in Baltimore, contacted a packaging company in Miami, Florida to set up a credit line to distribute the Miami company’s packaging products. Murray faxed a list of fraudulent credit references to the Miami company falsely indicating that Chesapeake Supply had established a good credit line with five other companies. The fax numbers listed for those companies did not belong to the businesses listed but were fax numbers at Chesapeake Supply, Inc. Based on this false information, the Miami company established a credit line of $50,000 for Chesapeake Supply and in September of 2006, shipped $35,700 of products to Chesapeake Supply. The Miami company did not receive payment for their products.

In March 2007, Murray started Sinclair Enterprises, Inc, also located on Shannon Drive. For both Chesapeake Supply and Sinclair Enterprises, Murray created and faxed fraudulent documents to numerous companies falsely reflecting that his companies had established credit with other companies. Again, the fax numbers represented as belonging to the companies listed as credit references were actually registered to Michael Murray and his associated companies. The victim companies sent him merchandise based on the bogus credit information. Murray and his companies did not provide payment.

On November 9, 2007, FBI agents seized fax machines reflecting fax numbers used to establish the fake credit references. Investigation to date has revealed that under this scheme, 71 victim companies incurred losses totaling $2,304,833.60.

Michael Murray remains detained.

Murray has more than 15 previous state fraud convictions and is scheduled to have a hearing on a violation of probation tomorrow before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge John N. Prevas. Assistant State’s Attorney Nancy Olin, of the Collateral Unit of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, is handling that case.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore City Police Department and the National Association of Credit Management for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who prosecuted the case.


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