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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bookkeeper Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Embezzling Over $1.3 Million from Non-Profit Organizations

Victim Non-Profits Provided Services to the Homeless, Disadvantaged Children, and a Baltimore Community

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Sharon Harrison, age 48, of Rosedale, Maryland, today to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for embezzling from four non-profit organizations for which she worked.  Judge Motz also entered an order that Harrison pay restitution of $1,306,797.70, the total amount that she embezzled.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Scott Hinckley of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Special Agent in Charge Cary A. Rubenstein of the Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General; and Robert H. Pearre, Jr., Inspector General, City of Baltimore Office of Inspector General.

“Non-profit organizations that receive federal funds have a legal duty to use them for the intended purpose,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.  “Sharon Harrison helped herself to federal funds intended to provide services for disadvantaged children and homeless families in Baltimore.”

According to her plea agreement, Harrison was a bookkeeper or fiscal manager for the following non-profit groups, all of which received federal funds to assist in their mission:

Health, Education, Advocacy, Life Inc. (HEAL) from 2005 to March 2011;

Between Friends, Inc. from September 2008 to November 2011;

Jobs, Housing & Recovery, Inc. (JHR) from May 20, 2013 to February 12, 2014; and

Reservoir Hill Improvement Council (RHIC) from December 2012 to February 2014.

HEAL and JHR provided services for the homeless in Baltimore City.  Between Friends assisted disadvantaged children to find foster homes and provided services to the children and their foster families.  RHIC developed and implemented solutions to needs arising at the Reservoir Hill Community in Baltimore.

Over the course of her employment at these non-profits, Harrison embezzled over $1.3 million. Specifically, Harrison admitted that she embezzled: $226,888.34 from HEAL; $784,781.17 from Between Friends; $161,750.14 from JHR; and $133,178.04 from RHIC.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI, HUD-OIG and Baltimore Office of Inspector General for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Leo J. Wise, who prosecuted the case.

Financial Fraud
Updated August 20, 2015