Woman Pleads Guilty to Paying More than $6,500 in Cash Bribes to Metropolitan Police Department Employees in Exchange for Personal Identifying Information of Traffic Crash Victims
WASHINGTON – Michelle Cage, 45, of Maryland, pled guilty on November 19, 2020 to bribery for paying more than $6,500 in bribes to a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) employee, Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin announced.
Cage pled guilty to a criminal Information before the U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Information charged Cage with one count of bribery of a public official, which carries with it the penalties of up to 15 years of prison followed by three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. The guilty plea will be referred to U.S. District Judge Emmett Sullivan for approval and sentencing. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to Cage’s admissions in connection with her guilty plea, dating back to at least 2012, Cage worked, in return for referral fees, to connect people in need of legal representation or medical services with providers of those services. In 2017, Cage started MC Referrals and Marketing L.L.C. (MC Referrals) to provide these referral services. To identify potential clients, Cage obtained from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Traffic Accident Reports, or “PD Form 10s,” which contained the names and contact information of individuals involved in traffic accidents. Beginning in 2015, however, MPD General Order 401.03 limited the distribution of these reports to individuals involved in traffic accidents and their representatives. Cage admitted that, beginning at that time and continuing into 2017, she paid cash bribes in the amount of $50 to $200 per week to a clerk in MPD’s First District station, to influence the clerk to violate the General Order and provide Cage with the confidential reports, which Cage used to contact and solicit potential clients. Cage admitted that she paid the clerk at least $6,500 in bribes.
In announcing the guilty plea, Acting U.S. Attorney Sherwin commended the work of those who assisted the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office and MPD’s Internal Affairs Division. He also acknowledged the work of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Veronica Sanchez, who prosecuted the case.