Woman sought on credit card fraud charges

April 26, 2003|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A 47-year-old Wicomico County woman wanted by Baltimore police on an arrest warrant charging her with credit card fraud also is being investigated in the embezzlement of thousands of dollars from a local seminary, police sources said yesterday.

Police said they have been searching for Cynthia J. Downs since her car was found April 15 in an Ocean City parking lot. She is wanted on charges of credit card fraud in the city, Baltimore police said. Details about the warrant were not available.

Baltimore police are also investigating allegations that Downs embezzled money from St. Mary's Seminary & University, where she once worked, said the city department's chief spokeswoman, Ragina C. Averella.

Law enforcement sources said Downs is thought to have embezzled between $100,000 and $250,000.

Officials with the seminary did not return calls seeking comment. Downs worked for about five years at the seminary after serving a prison sentence for embezzlement.

Downs' third husband, Clarence E. Downs III, died in a fire Christmas night in the family's home in the 3700 block of Pansy Ave. in Lansdowne. Fire officials ruled last year that the fire was caused by careless smoking.

Downs moved in with her second husband and had most recently been living in Rockawalkin.

Anyone with information about Downs' whereabouts is urged to call local police.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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