Judge orders former accountant to make payments to victims

February 28, 1994|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

Otis K. Comstock, a Hampstead accountant who bilked four condominium associations out of nearly $100,000, has been ordered to begin making monthly payments to his victims at the end of next month.

At a probation violation hearing last week, Carroll Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold ordered Comstock -- who now earns $5 an hour at a pizza shop -- to pay the condominium associations $500 a month.

The hearing Wednesday was the result of a complaint filed by Comstock's probation agent. The agent said Comstock has failed to pay any money to his victims since he pleaded guilty to felony theft in November 1992.

Judge Arnold could have sent Comstock to jail, but, according to court records, he never really anticipated putting the former accountant behind bars.

"Although it is not my present intent that he should be found in violation of his probation, it is my intention that some type of definite schedule be set up," Judge Arnold wrote in a December letter to prosecutors and Comstock's defense attorney, Wesley D. Blakeslee.

Mr. Blakeslee could not be reached Friday for comment on the judge's order.

Comstock served two months in the county jail after his conviction.

In his plea bargain with county prosecutors, Comstock agreed to have his real estate holdings sold to pay restitution and prosecutors agreed to drop several other charges. Comstock had expected to have as much as $50,000 left from his property sale to pay the condo associations.

Court records show that Comstock's estate -- once valued at more than $600,000 -- was liquidated by the end of 1993. It was not clear Friday how much -- if any -- of the estate was left for the condominium associations after Comstock's secured creditors were paid.

As a property manager for four Hampstead condo associations for at least two years, Comstock was responsible for, among other things, collecting monthly dues, providing financial statements and preparing tax returns.

According to court records, he stole money from the associations' savings accounts and certificates of deposit, then falsified financial reports to the associations' officers to cover his thefts.

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