Baltimore Businessman Lance Lucas Pleads Guilty to Federal Honest Services Wire Fraud and Related Charges
Paid More Than $42,500 in Bribes to Delegate Cheryl Glenn in Exchange for her Official Actions Benefitting Lucas’ Companies
Baltimore Maryland – United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur announced today that Lance Andre Lucas, age 44, of Baltimore, Maryland, has pleaded guilty to federal honest services wire fraud and use of an interstate facility to carry on unlawful activity, also known as the Travel Act.
“Lance Lucas paid $42,500 to former Maryland Delegate Cheryl Glenn in exchange for official actions, to give his businesses an advantage,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Legislative decisions should be made in the best interests of the public, not in exchange for bribes. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI will continue to hold accountable those who betray the public trust for their own greed.”
“As evident in today's plea, public corruption is not merely focused on persons holding public office, but extends to anyone attempting to leverage access to those with influence for personal benefit,” said Alfred Watson, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Baltimore Division of the FBI. “The FBI's pledge to the public is that we will seek to root out public corruption wherever it may be, no matter the person, position, or purpose.”
According to his plea agreement, Lance Lucas was an entrepreneur and businessman. He was employed by Company 1, which developed the Cyber Warrior Diversity Program curriculum to sell to institutions offering education and training to persons interested in cybersecurity professions. In addition, Lucas formed Non-Profit 1, to provide community Internet networks and computer instruction for children and adults. Lucas partnered with other individuals who were involved in businesses engaged in distributing or growing medical marijuana, including Company 2 and Company 3. Company 2 was awarded a Stage One license pre-approval for a medical marijuana dispensary license by the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, and sought final approval from the Cannabis Commission. Company 3 applied for a medical marijuana growing license in May 2019.
Until her resignation on December 18, 2019, Cheryl Glenn was a Maryland State Delegate representing District 45, which covered portions of Baltimore.
As detailed in the plea agreement, from May 22, 2018 through July 30, 2019, Lucas paid Glenn $42,500, defrauding the citizens of Maryland of the right to her honest services by providing bribes in exchange for Glenn’s official actions. Specifically, Lucas paid bribes for Glenn to introduce legislation that included a provision requiring the award of contracts under the Cyber Warrior Diversity program to certain businesses that met specified criteria. Company 1 met the criteria specified in the initial draft of the bill, although that provision was removed in the final bill. Lucas also paid bribes to Glenn to help Company 2 to obtain final approval from the Cannabis Commission for a medical marijuana dispensary license. Finally, Lucas paid bribes to Glenn to assist him with the Cannabis Commission to ensure that Company 3’s application for a medical marijuana growing license was selected during the “double-blind” review process.
Lucas admitted that he wrote checks made out to Glenn personally, not to her campaign committee, and that he provided her with cash payments. Lucas made several statements that money was not an issue and that he would not leave anything to chance. Lucas also assured Glenn that they would not be caught and stated “I’m from Baltimore for real, for real Baltimore . . . This is the least illegal thing I’ve ever done. This is like patty-cake compared to the [expletive] in Baltimore City.”
Lucas faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for honest services wire fraud and five years in federal prison for the Travel Act charge. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for June 10, 2020, at 9:30 a.m.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Derek E. Hines and Leo J. Wise, who are prosecuting the case.
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