News

Potomac Man Charged with Embezzling over $1.6 Million From His Company


Allegedly Used Some of the Stolen Funds to Buy an Interest in a Restaurant
and the Baltimore Mariners Football Team

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2010

Greenbelt, Maryland - A criminal complaint has been filed charging Dwayne Wells, age 50, of Potomac, Maryland, with wire fraud in connection with a scheme to embezzle over $1.6 million from a mechanical engineering firm in which he was a part owner. The complaint was filed yesterday and unsealed today upon his arrest. His initial appearance is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. today in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.

The charges were 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 to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, in 2006 Wells and two other individuals purchased a mechanical engineering firm called Ryco Associates, based in Laurel, Maryland. Wells was issued an American Express card to use for business-related purchases. The affidavit alleges that since 2008, Wells has incurred over $250,000 in unauthorized expenses which were paid with Ryco funds, including: tens of thousands of dollars to “The Nest,” a bar/restaurant in Baltimore in which Wells eventually acquired an interest; travel expenses for Wells and his wife; thousands of dollars in expenses to an adult-entertainment establishment in Baltimore; and $18,000 in arena expenses for the Baltimore Mariners, a professional indoor football team based in Baltimore, in which Wells eventually acquired an interest.

In addition, the affidavit alleges that Wells created several corporations through which he embezzled Ryco funds. For example, over a three year period Wells approved approximately $242,395 to the “Baltimore Entertainment Group,” which was an entity Wells formed to invest in other businesses with Ryco funds. Again using Ryco funds, Wells approved: from 2008 to 2009, approximately $542,300 to an entity he created, “DAD Group LLC;” from 2009 to 2010, $109,500 to the Baltimore Mariners and he acquired an ownership interest in the team; and in 2010, approximately $106,300 to “BRIG LLC,” another entity created by Wells through which he embezzled funds. According to the affidavit, “DAD” stands for “Drinkers and Dreamers,” and “BRIG” stands for “Boys Ravaging Innocent Girls.”

Finally, from 2007 to 2010, the affidavit alleges that Wells approved $441,384 in payments from Ryco to himself.

The total amount allegedly embezzled as a result of the fraud scheme was over $1.6 million.

Wells faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for wire fraud.

A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their work on this investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan C. Su, who is prosecuting the case.

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