Police seek donors who helped woman tied to alleged hate crime, fraud scheme

July 23, 1996|By Erica C. Harrington | Erica C. Harrington,SUN STAFF

Howard County police want to talk to people who donated money or goods to Sonia Andrei James, a North Laurel woman indicted July 11 on charges of insurance fraud, theft and making a false report in connection with an alleged hate crime that she is accused of having planned herself.

James received about $5,000 from a fund set up on her behalf at First National Bank's North Laurel branch and $14,000 from an insurance claim after her apartment was found ransacked and defaced with racial epithets in April. Police said she later confessed to having staged the incident. She could face 30 years in prison if convicted.

Sgt. John Superson of the Howard County Police Department said the department would try to see that money is returned to those who donated it in the wake of the incident.

"It was widespread. A lot of people made donations, so it's tough to say how many," he said.

People who donated money should provide copies of canceled checks given to the family through the bank fund or any documentation of property or money given directly to the family, said Superson.

He could not say whether the latest inquiry would lead to more charges against James.

Anyone who donated money to the family or any of the funds established for it can call Superson at (410) 313-3780.

Police log

Scaggsville: 10600 block of Harding Road: A television and cash were taken from a home between 7 a.m. and 4: 15 p.m. Friday. The front door knob had signs of tampering, and the house was ransacked, police said. The robber left through a sliding glass door.

Jessup: 10400 block of Guilford Road: Someone kicked several doors, damaged door locks and threw rocks at the glass of Elliott & Frantz Inc. between 6: 00 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday. Chains were taken from a truck.

Savage: 9000 block of Junction Drive: A compressor, a pipe threader, a saw and ladders were taken from a Riparius Construction site between 5 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday after someone cut a lock to the fence leading to it.

Pub Date: 7/23/96

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