Internal Revenue Service Information Technology Supervisor Facing Federal Charges for Extortion and Attempted Witness Tampering
Greenbelt, Maryland – Michael Andre Brown, age 47, of Waldorf, Maryland, was arrested today on federal charges alleging that Brown accepted bribes and illegal gratuities, in connection with his employment with a federal contractor in which he administered urinalysis tests to individuals on federal probation, supervised release and pre-trial supervision. The criminal complaint was filed on March 11, 2019, and unsealed at Brown’s initial appearance today.
The federal charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Brown was an employee at a company in Camp Springs, Maryland, which was a federally contracted business tasked with, among other things, administering urinalysis tests to individuals on federal probation, supervised release, and pre-trial supervision on behalf of the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office of the District of Maryland. Brown was a urinalysis technician for the company. According to the affidavit, on December 26, 2018, an FBI undercover task force officer (UC) posing as a federal probationer who had been ordered to submit to urine analysis as part of his/her probation, met with Brown at the company in Camp Springs. The UC indicated to Brown that he/she expected to have a positive urinalysis result. Brown allegedly told the UC that he was willing to work with the UC. According to the affidavit, Brown subsequently took the UC to a bathroom to perform the urinalysis. The UC added a substance to the urine sample that would produce a positive result for marijuana. Brown inspected the cup and indicated to the UC that it was positive for drug use, but again said that he would “take care of” the UC. The UC expressed his appreciation to Brown and placed $100 on the bathroom sink. Brown took the money.
According to the affidavit, Brown then gave instructions to the UC on how to check in on his/her next date for urine analysis, but also informed the UC that his/her next date would be December 28, 2018, two days away, and that Brown would be working again on that date. Such dates are assigned daily and are not supposed to be divulged to the probationers until the evening before.
The affidavit alleges that on December 28, 2018, the UC provided another urine sample to Brown, but instead of checking it, Brown told the UC, “Go ahead and pour it [the urine] out,” “Cause if it was dirty the other day, it’s gonna be dirty today.” The UC again expressed appreciation to Brown and asked if Brown “needed anything.” The affidavit alleges that Brown then accepted $100 from the UC and indicated that he would do so on future dates, as well. Neither Brown, nor anyone else from his company ever contacted the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office to alert them that the UC had tested positive for drug use. Brown allegedly also accepted $150 from the UC on February 11, 2019, without requiring Brown to submit a urine sample at all, before causing a negative urinalysis result to be reported. On February 15, 2019, a representative of the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office contacted Brown’s employer and was informed by a representative of the company that the UC had tested negative for drugs on February 11, 2019. All of the meetings between the UC and Brown were audio- and video-recorded.
If convicted, Brown faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for bribery, and a maximum of two years in prison for accepting an illegal gratuity. At today’s initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, U.S. Magistrate Judge Gina L. Simms ordered that Brown be released pending trial.
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 Robert K. Hur commended the FBI and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth G. Wright, who is prosecuting the case.
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