Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging an officer for the Fairmount Heights Police Department, the Anne Arundel County Police Department, the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, and three officers from the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) with federal charges for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and/or mail fraud. The indictment was returned on July 28, 2021, and unsealed today. The following defendants are charged in the federal indictment.
- Conrad Darwin D’Haiti, age 52, of La Plata, Maryland, of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police;
- Philip James Dupree, age 37, of Pikesville, Maryland, of the Fairmount Heights Police Department;
- Mark Ross Johnson, Jr., age 33, of Camp Springs, Maryland, of the PGPD;
- Michael Anthony Owen, Jr., age 33, of Accokeek, Maryland, of the PGPD;
- Jaron Earl Taylor, age 27, of Ft. Washington, Maryland, of the Anne Arundel County Police Department; and
- Candace Danielle Tyler, age 34, of District Heights, Maryland, of the PGPD.
Dupree, Johnson, Taylor, and Tyler are expected to have an initial appearance this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt. D’Haiti is expected to turn himself in at a later date and Owen is detained on an unrelated State charge. Both will have initial appearances in U.S. District Court at a later date.
The indictment was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Chief Malik Azziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
According to the three-count indictment, the defendants conspired to commit three separate frauds, each of which involved filing false police reports and falsified loss claims in order to fraudulently obtain funds from financial institutions and insurance companies. The defendants were all police officers at the time of the alleged criminal activity.
Specifically, the indictment alleges that from May 2019 until June 2019, Dupree, Johnson, and Tyler conspired to defraud three financial institutions by coordinating the withdrawal of money from their financial accounts through ATMs for the purpose of fraudulently claiming the money was stolen and seeking reimbursement from a financial institution. In order to execute the fraud scheme, Dupree, Johnson, and Tyler allegedly coordinated the submission of police reports to PGPD, falsely stating that their debit cards were stolen and used to withdraw fund from the ATM without their permission. The indictment alleges that members of the conspiracy, including the defendants, then submitted fraudulent claims to the victim financial institutions seeking reimbursement for the purportedly unauthorized ATM withdrawals.
Further, the indictment alleges that in January 2020, D’Haiti and Owen coordinated the relocation and vandalism of D’Haiti’s vehicle in order to file a fraudulent insurance claim. Members of the conspiracy, including D’Haiti and Owen, allegedly coordinated the submission of a PGPD police report that falsely stated that D’Haiti’s vehicle was stolen. D’Haiti then allegedly submitted an insurance claim and documents to the victim insurance company by mail and wire, seeking reimbursement for the vehicle that was reported as stolen.
Finally, the indictment alleges that in January 2020, Owen and Taylor coordinated the relocation of a vehicle in a garage to hide the vehicle for the purpose of filing a fraudulent insurance claim. Specifically, the indictment alleges that members of the conspiracy, including Owen and Taylor, moved the vehicle to a garage and conspirators, including Owen, then submitted a false PGPD police report stating that the vehicle was stolen. A co-conspirator then submitted an insurance claim seeking reimbursement for the vehicle that was reported stolen.
If convicted, Dupree, Johnson and Tyler each face a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud; D’Haiti and Owen each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud; and Owen and Taylor each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the FBI and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked the Anne Arundel County Police Department for its assistance. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dwight J. Draughon and Adam K. Ake, who are prosecuting the federal case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.