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Justice News

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

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Final Conspirator Pleads Guilty in Scheme to Embezzle over $1 Million from Co-Conspirator’s Employer


Greenbelt, Maryland – Brian Hooper, age 42, of Woodbridge, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to commit wire fraud in connection with a scheme to steal over $1 million from a consulting company.

The plea agreement was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to his plea agreement, co-defendant Janice McCumbie worked for a global consulting business that had offices in Maryland and elsewhere. Clients paid large retainers to secure consulting services. The consulting company would issue refund checks to the clients in certain circumstances, including when a client’s retainer exceeded the amount of work that the consulting company actually performed or when the client made duplicate payments to the consulting company. McCumbie’s duties included coordinating client refunds.

In 2008, Hooper introduced McCumbie to a co-conspirator, who was not a client of the consulting company. Between June and December 2008, McCumbie caused the consulting company to issue six fraudulent refund checks totaling $121,081.22 to the co-conspirator in exchange for a share of the check proceeds. The co-conspirator shared the proceeds from five of these fraudulent checks with Hooper and McCumbie.

In 2009, Hooper introduced McCumbie to defendant Leonard Smedley, who was also not a client of the consulting company. From February 2009 to October 2013, McCumbie caused the consulting company to issue 42 false refund checks totaling $910,490.74 to Smedley in exchange for Smedley sharing the check proceeds with Hooper and McCumbie.

Hooper has agreed to forfeit and pay restitution of $1,031,571.96, the loss resulting from his conduct.

Hooper faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel scheduled his sentencing for February 2, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.

Leonard Smedley II, age 35, of Capitol Heights, Maryland; Amber Gayleard, age 29, of Schuylkillhaven, Pennsylvania; and Janice McCumbie, age 45, of Marydel, Maryland; previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and are scheduled to be sentenced on January 15, 20 and 27, 2015, respectively.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Leah Jo Bressack and David Salem, who are prosecuting the case.

Updated January 27, 2015