Former United Way Employee Sentenced to Almost Four Years in Prison for Stealing Over $375,000 in Donations
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 09, 2011|
BALTIMORE—U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Dorothy Shields Talbot, age 48, of Baltimore, today to 46 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for wire fraud in connection with a scheme to steal over $375,000 in donations issued to her employer, United Way of Central Maryland. Judge Bredar entered an order requiring Talbot to pay restitution of $375,232.16.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According Talbot’s plea agreement, the United Way of Central Maryland was a non-profit charitable organization located in Baltimore. United Way received charitable donations and disbursed funds as directed by donors to support charities in the central Maryland area of Baltimore City and the counties of Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford and Howard. From September 2001 until December 2010, Talbot worked in United Way’s finance department and was responsible for opening the mail and depositing donations into a corporate operating bank account.
According to the plea agreement and other court documents, in 2003 or 2004, Talbot was granted signatory authority over a separate account maintained by United Way’s Employee Activities Committee, to handle the employee event funds. On December 10, 2004, the Employee Activities Committee met and decided to close their account. According to the minutes of that meeting, Talbot was responsible for closing the account. Instead of closing the account, Talbot admitted that from December 2004 through December 2010, she deposited donor checks issued to United Way into that account, rather than into the corporate operating account. Talbot caused the mailing address for the employee activities checking account to be changed from United Way’s office to her home. Talbot withdrew $375,232.16 of the monies deposited into the checking account, through ATM withdrawals, debits and by writing checks to herself and others. Talbot admitted that she used the $375,232.16 for her own personal benefit, including luxury items for her family.
This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the FBI for its work in the investigation and praised Assistant U.S. Attorneys Barbara S. Sale and Sean O’Connell, who are prosecuting the case.