A 36-year-old man was arrested yesterday in a Baltimore carryout while posing as a state sales tax auditor, police reported.
Michael Thomas Henson, who police said had traveled around the world as a teen-ager by duping people out of their money, was arrested at the Sunshine Carryout at 2 E. Lombard St. by Detective William A. Booker of the checks and fraud unit.
Henson was arrested on a warrant charging him with failure to appear in court on theft and drug paraphernalia charges, police said. He was being held last night at the Central District lockup.
Police believe Henson to be the man suspected of bilking at least 17 small businesses in the city of between $3,000 to $4,000 while posing as a sales tax auditor.
The suspect allegedly entered the Lombard Street carryout yesterday and identified himself as a state auditor before asking to see invoices and cash register receipts.
The owners had the man talk with their accountant. He told the accountant that once he had checked the store records, he would accept a $167 fee so that the establishment could avoid audits for the next two years.
The accountant grew suspicious and told the man he would get back to him, police said, but then notified the state sales tax division in Annapolis. Officials there contacted police.
"When I walked in, he was still sitting there with his briefcase open, waiting for the OK," Detective Booker said.
Henson was arrested in the 1970s and accused of bilking a number of people -- including his own parents -- out of money that enabled him to live lavishly.