Lutherville Man Faces Federal Charges for Bank Fraud and Identity Theft and State Charges for Elder Abuse
Charges Related to His Operation of an Unlicensed Assisted Living Facility
Baltimore, Maryland – Salah Sood, age 34, of Lutherville, Maryland, faces federal charges of aggravated identity theft and bank fraud. Sood has also been indicted in Baltimore County with four counts of abuse of vulnerable adults and one count of operating an unlicensed assisted living home. The state and federal charges arise from an investigation of Holland Manor Eldercare where, on December 3, 2015, two elderly residents were found alone when Baltimore County police and the fire department personnel responded to a fire alarm at that location.
The charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger, Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Special Agent in Charge Nicholas DiGiulio, Office of Investigations, Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.
According to the criminal complaint affidavit, on December 3, 2015, at 9:10 p.m. (BCoFD) and Baltimore County Police Department (BCoPD) personnel responded to a fire alarm at Holland Manor Eldercare, a formerly licensed Assisted Living Program located at 1812 Landrake Road in Towson, Maryland. Maryland health officials had revoked the Assisted Living Program License of Holland Manor Eldercare on September 25, 2015, after an investigation revealed deficiencies in care and staffing. The responding officers located two residents inside the facility without any staff present. An 80 year old male resident spoke with the officers and told them that no caretaker was present at the facility overnight. The man told the officers that if there was an emergency, he would call facility manager Salah Sood. BCoPD officers attempted to call Sood, but the call immediately went to voicemail. The second resident, a woman who was 82 years old, was located in a bed in a second floor bedroom. The resident was comatose and unable to communicate. BCoFD personnel who attempted to render aid to her discovered that she was restrained by a blanket that was tied to the bedrails across her body. In addition to the unattended residents, the conditions inside the facility were found to be unsanitary and unsafe. The locks on doors inside the facility had also been reversed so that residents could be locked into rooms from the outside. Both residents were transported to medical facilities to be evaluated. Salah Sood later called police and stated that he was the manager of Holland Manor Eldercare and had left the facility to go home and take a shower and get something to eat. Sood refused to provide police with his location while speaking with them on the phone
In December 2015, a criminal investigation was initiated by BCoPD detectives regarding the possible abuse and/or neglect of residents at Holland Manor Eldercare. During that investigation, it was discovered that the personal information of at least three Holland Manor Eldercare residents had been used to open multiple credit card accounts in their names without their knowledge or permission. In each instance, Salah Sood had been added as an authorized user of the credit card account.
For example, according to the affidavit, on November 10, 2015, November 30, 2015, and January 8, 2016, three credit card accounts were opened using the name, date of birth, and Social Security Number of the 80 year old resident of Holland Manor Eldercare who was removed by BCoFD personnel responding to the December 3, 2015 fire alarm. Each of the applications was submitted electronically and used the address of Holland Manor Eldercare, as the man’s home address. On the same day that each account was opened, an authorized user name of Salah Sood was added to the account. Between December 21, 2015 and January 27, 2016, a total of $59,094.39 in purchases were made using the accounts.
Sood faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for bank fraud; and a mandatory minimum of two years in prison consecutive to any other sentence imposed for aggravated identity theft. Sood was arrested today and is scheduled to have initial appearance in Baltimore County Circuit Court on the state charges at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 11, 2016. No court appearance has been scheduled yet in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on the federal charges.
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.
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 and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger commended the Baltimore County Police Department and HHS-Office of Inspector General for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra Wilkinson and Roann Nichols and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren E. Perry, who are prosecuting the federal case.