Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH

March 16, 2006

Bank fraud defendant gets 2 years in prison

An Owings Mills man was sentenced to more than two years in federal prison yesterday for his role in stealing more than $400,000 in a bank fraud scheme, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

In addition to the 27 months in prison, U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Ronald Stewart, 31, to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $457,181, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Stewart and his wife stole from CitiFinancial Inc. from September 2003 until October 2005 while he was working at a Baltimore branch office.

When he pleaded guilty Jan. 3, Stewart admitted his involvement in falsifying records - creating two false employees and fraudulent expense reports for them. The reimbursements were directed to the Bank of Nova Scotia in Canada and then transferred to bank accounts in Baltimore, prosecutors said.

The money was used for such things as a Lincoln Navigator, a home in Owings Mills and property in Trinidad, prosecutors said.

Stewart's wife, Saratou Stewart, 29, pleaded guilty Jan. 6 and is scheduled to be sentenced April 3, according to prosecutors.

Assault on girl, 9, reported

Anne Arundel County police said yesterday that they were investigating a report that a 9-year-old girl was fondled in a bathroom at High Point Elementary School.

The incident occurred at 3:10 p.m. March 9 and was reported by the girl's mother Tuesday evening, police said. The girl told police that a man grabbed her, slapped her and threatened her before he ran from the building, police said. The girl was not injured, police said.

Police said they will increase patrols around the school while they investigate. Anyone with information should call 410-222-8610.

Annie Linskey

Fatal hit-and-run in Arundel

Anne Arundel County police are searching for the driver in a hit-and-run auto accident that left a 45-year-old man dead Tuesday evening.

Charles Eugene Arbogast of Severn was crossing Ritchie Highway just north of Wellham Avenue when he was struck by a Chevrolet Trailblazer, police said.

Police said they know the make of the sport utility vehicle because they found its grill at the scene.

The driver of the Trailblazer skidded and stopped - but drove away, leaving Arbogast in the road, police said.

Arbogast was taken to Harbor Hospital in Baltimore, where he was pronounced dead. Anyone with information is asked to call 410-222-8576.

Annie Linskey

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