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Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal jury has convicted former Maryland State Delegate Michael Lynn Vaughn, age 60, of Bowie, Maryland, of bribery and conspiracy in connection with a scheme in which he accepted bribes in exchange for influencing the performance of his official duties.
The conviction was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Acting Special Agent in Charge Kimberly Lappin of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office; and Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
Vaughn was a Maryland State Delegate from January 2003 until January 2017, representing District 24, which covered portions of Prince George’s County, Maryland, and was the Deputy Majority Whip and a senior member of the Economic Matters Committee.
According to evidence presented at trial, from January 2015 through April 2016, then-Delegate Vaughn conspired with former Prince George’s County Liquor Board Commissioner and later, Chief Liquor Inspector, David Dae Sok Son, liquor store owners Young Jung Paig, Shin Ja Lee, and others to advance and vote for favorable legislation in exchange for cash payments.
According to evidence presented at trial, Vaughn took over $15,000 in cash bribes from Paig, Lee, and others, in exchange for influencing and voting for the 2015 Sunday Sales Bill and the related 2016 Additional Sunday Permits Bill, both of which became Maryland laws. The 2015 Sunday Sales Bill established up to 100 Sunday liquor sales permits in Prince George’s County for certain license holders. The 2016 Additional Sunday Permits Bill raised the limit of Sunday liquor sales permits in Prince George’s County from 100 to 105. On at least six occasions, then-Delegate Vaughn voted in favor of the bills in the Prince George’s County Delegation meetings, in the Economic Matters Committee, and on the floor of the Maryland House of Delegates.
Vaughn faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each of four counts of bribery and five years in prison for the conspiracy count. No sentencing date has been scheduled.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FBI, IRS-CI, and Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas P. Windom and Phil Selden, who prosecuted the case, and Menaka S. Kalaskar, who assisted in the prosecution.
Image courtesy of the State of Maryland Archives