Bank manager gets 18 months for embezzlement $275,000 helped finance Carroll Fields development

October 30, 1997|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

A 41-year-old partner in a Carroll County housing development was sentenced in U.S. District Court yesterday to 18 months for embezzling an estimated $275,000 -- that he used to finance part of the development -- from the Pikesville bank where he worked.

William B. Herb of Sykesville was sentenced by Judge Frederic N. Smalkin after he pleaded guilty Aug. 14 to embezzlement for making unauthorized withdrawals of $275,000 from customer accounts at the NationsBank branch in Pikesville where he was manager, according to U.S. Attorney Lynne A. Battaglia.

Battaglia said that Herb took money between February 1993 and February 1996 from at least 13 accounts and put it into his Eldersburg partnership, B&H Investments Inc.

B&H used the cash to help finance the April 5, 1993, purchase of a tract that became the site of Carroll Fields, a community of 60 homes along Second Avenue in Sykesville where houses sold for about $180,000.

Battaglia said that the scheme was uncovered when a NationsBank customer noticed an unauthorized withdrawal from his account and questioned it. Herb then credited funds to that customer's account, but made unauthorized withdrawals from other accounts to make up for it, she said.

"As a result of the defendant's activities, NationsBank suffered a loss of more than $290,000," Battaglia said.

The town of Sykesville revoked a $240,000 public works bond in July 1996 that had been issued to B&H after the partnership missed three town-imposed deadlines to complete roads and other public works improvements that were part of the project.

Roads and sidewalks remained incomplete, nearly 80 percent of the homes had been sold and several more were under construction at the time the bond was revoked, said Town Manager Matthew H. Candland.

Candland said yesterday that he was unsure if Herb's legal problems had anything to do with B&H's failure to complete the public improvements.

"I have no way of knowing," Candland said.

He said that the town used the bond money to pay a contractor to complete the improvements.

The roads and sidewalks have been completed and contractors are constructing a "tot lot" playground and planting some of the trees promised by the developers, Candland said.

The improvements are scheduled to be completed next spring with the planting of the rest of trees, he said.

Pub Date: 10/30/97

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