Germantown man indicted on charges of tax, mail fraud

November 01, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A federal grand jury in Baltimore has handed up a 15-count indictment charging the former head of a Frederick clothing manufacturing company with filing false income tax returns, mail fraud and making false statements when he applied for a $1.6 million loan.

Benjamin J. Gilbert, 54, of Germantown is accused of defrauding Hartz and Co. by creating false invoices for $200,000 worth of goods and services that he billed to the company and gave to himself, according to the indictment announced yesterday by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Gilbert was president and chief executive officer of the company from August 1997 through May 2000. As CEO, Gilbert approved payment for the invoices, which included reimbursement for lawn-care work, home security and improvements to his Montgomery County home, according to the indictment.

According to the indictment, Gilbert stated that he had no liabilities or judgments against him in 1998, when he applied for a loan to NationsBank for $1.6 million to purchase a property in Germantown.

Gilbert failed to disclose in the application that he had been convicted of felonies in Pennsylvania in 1994, according to the indictment. He was ordered to pay $693,606 in restitution as a result of the convictions. The indictment also charges Gilbert with filing false income tax returns from 1997 to 2000.

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