Brian H. Davis, a fallen Maryland political fund-raiser, was arrested yesterday by the FBI, carted into federal court in handcuffs and thrown in jail after a tumultuous credit card fraud hearing in which he apparently tried to mislead a federal judge.
Davis was free after pleading guilty to bank fraud and tax charges in March and was due to enter federal prison on Sept. 30. He was sentenced on June 17 to five years and three months.
Yesterday's arrest was the latest of Davis' legal woes. In August, the former Baltimore trucking executive was charged with three counts of violating state election laws. He was charged with contributing $68,500 under false names and two counts of exceeding the state's $10,000 limit on political campaign contributions during a four-year election cycle. Davis is scheduled to appear in Baltimore County District Court Tuesday to face the state charges.
Davis' newest legal tangle surfaced when an acquaintance, Raffaele Mazzone, obtained a copy of Mazzone's driving record from the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles while at a fair this summer in Harford county. Davis' address was on it.
Mazzone, assistant manager of Liberatore's, a Timonium restaurant frequented by Davis, discovered that several credit card applications had been made in Mazzone's name but using Davis' address.
Prosecutors believe that Davis also applied for credit with federally insured banks using Mazzone's name.
And on the same day Davis requested -- and was granted -- an extension before surrendering to authorities to begin his sentence, he allegedly used one of the fraudulent credit cards. Prosecutors say he charged at least $250 on that Sunoco card.
Prosecutors are expected to file formal charges in the credit card case. Davis' arrest yesterday was technically for violating conditions of his earlier release.
At yesterday's hearing, an emotional Davis disregarded his attorney's advice to remain silent and vehemently insisted that he had an explanation.
"Mr. Mazzone is a dear friend, and he had asked me to clean up his credit report" to obtain a loan, Davis said under oath. He said he was authorized to apply for credit cards for Mazzone and that Mazzone gave him his driver's license, birth date and mother's maiden name. To corroborate his story, Davis asked U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis to call Mazzone immediately.
Garbis did. In a break from the proceedings, the judge and attorneys retired to chambers and called Mazzone at the restaurant while the court reporter took down the conversation. Mazzone denied what Davis had just claimed. "My credit is A1," he said on the telephone.
Garbis emerged from chambers stunned. "Fool me once, shame on you," he said. "Fool me twice, shame on me. I can't fathom this. This is the most bizarre thing."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dale P. Kelberman argued that Davis should be taken into custody immediately. "Mr. Davis has truly shown contempt for the court's orders," he said.
The judge then ordered the U.S. marshal's office to escort Davis to Baltimore City Detention Center until he could be transported to a federal prison.
Last year, The Sun detailed more than $250,000 in state and federal campaign contributions made by Davis over five years. The articles said Davis gave much of that money using the names of relatives without their permission.
Pub Date: 9/13/97