Assisted Living Facility Manager Pleads Guilty to Stealing Elderly Residents’ Identities to Obtain Credit Cards
Made $74,000 in Purchases Using Fraudulently Obtained Credit Cards
Baltimore, Maryland –Salah Eldean Sood, age 35, of Lutherville, Maryland, pleaded guilty late on November 28, 2016, to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, arising from a scheme to open credit card accounts using the stolen identity information of elderly persons who were in Sood’s care at Holland Manor Eldercare, an assisted living facility in Towson, Maryland.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Nicholas DiGiulio, Office of Investigations, Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger; and Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, Philadelphia Field Division (SSA).
According to his plea agreement, Sood managed Holland Manor Eldercare. In June 2015, P.J., a resident of Holland Manor, was transported to a local hospital. Baltimore County Fire Department personnel noted that conditions in the facility were unsanitary and that P.J.’s injuries were potentially indicative of a lack of proper medical care. P.J. died two days later. Maryland health officials revoked the Assisted Living Program License of Holland Manor Eldercare on September 25, 2015. On December 3, 2015, Baltimore County Fire Department and Baltimore County Police Department personnel responded to a fire alarm at Holland Manor and located two residents inside the facility without any staff present. An 80 year-old male resident, W.C., informed responders that no caretaker was generally present at the facility overnight. The second resident was restrained in a bed in a second floor bedroom, comatose, and unable to communicate. Responders were initially unable to reach Sood on his cell phone. Sood eventually responded to their calls, but refused to provide information as to his whereabouts.
Further investigation revealed that from July 2014 to January 2016, Sood opened credit card accounts at a bank using the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of three elderly persons who resided at the assisted living facility, including P.J. and W.C. Sood submitted the applications electronically, using Holland Manor’s address as the home address. Sood obtained six credit cards in the names of the residents. Sood added himself as an authorized user on those accounts and made over $74,000 in purchases using the accounts.
As part of his plea agreement, Sood will be required to pay restitution in the full amount of the victims’ losses, $74,753.24.
Sood and the government have agreed that at the time of sentencing they will recommend a sentence of 48 to 52 months in prison to be served concurrent to the state sentence imposed in his Baltimore County Circuit court case. U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis has scheduled sentencing for March 30, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
The Maryland Identity Theft Working Group has been working since 2006 to foster cooperation among local, state, federal, and institutional fraud investigators and to promote effective prosecution of identity theft schemes by both state and federal prosecutors. This case, as well as other cases brought by members of the Working Group, demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies to work with financial institutions and businesses to address identity fraud, identify those who compromise personal identity information, and protect citizens from identity theft.
Today’s announcement is part of the efforts undertaken in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended HHS, the Baltimore County Police Department, Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office and SSA for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren E. Perry and Roann Nichols, who are prosecuting the case.