Owings Mills Man Sentenced To 30 Months In Federal Prison For Mail Fraud
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact ELIZABETH MORSE
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4885
Baltimore, Maryland – On February 27, 2017, U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis sentenced Saleh Stevens, age 45, of Owings Mills, Maryland, to 30 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. Judge Garbis also ordered that Stevens pay over $3.4 million in restitution.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Gordon Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and U.S. Trustee Gerard R. Vetter of the Baltimore office of the United States Trustee Program.
In August 2014, Stevens pleaded guilty to stealing over $3,000,000 from his employer, Hanover Insurance. According to his plea agreement. Stevens was an attorney licensed to practice in Maryland and worked as a senior claims adjustor and bond claim attorney in the bond department of The Hanover Insurance Company regional office in Towson, Maryland. In this position, Stevens was responsible for reviewing and managing claims related to surety bonds. These bonds were generally for construction projects to assist with claims processing. Hanover employed CPA firm accountants and engineers to assist Hanover manage and resolve claims.
Beginning in December 2011, Stevens began to embezzle funds from Hanover’s special surety workout accounts. These accounts were established and funded with Hanover’s reserve funds. Using his position as a bond claim attorney, Stevens directed the outside CPA firms to issue checks from these Hanover special reserve accounts to the bank accounts of third-party entities that Stevens either controlled, or were controlled by his friends.
For example, Stevens approached his high school friend and offered to pay him $40,000 in exchange for opening a nominee company with a bank account. His friend then opened Lundy Lighting Supply, LLC, a fictional corporate entity, that did not have a physical location, conduct any business, have any employees, nor any customers. Stevens sent embezzled funds to this fictitious company and accounts.
In some instances, Stevens directed the owners of these third-party entities to issue checks to him for his personal benefit or directed Hanover CPAs to issue checks made payable to entities that he controlled. Stevens used these funds to purchase luxury automobiles, (including a 2008 Maserati and a 2009 Mercedes), and a fifty-foot yacht. Stevens also spent approximately $1,900,000 to fund for a NASCAR racing team.
In total, Stevens embezzled $3,119,129.22 from The Hanover Insurance Company.
Co-conspirator, Eric Myles Gordon, age 50, of Baltimore County, Maryland, was previously convicted of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and falsification of records in bankruptcy, and was sentenced to 36 months in prison.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FBI, and the United States Trustee’s Baltimore Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Judson T. Mihok and P. Michael Cunningham, who prosecuted the case.