FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 30, 1999
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that Bartholomew Anthony Butler, 38, of Columbia, Maryland, has been charged with stealing nearly $169,000 from a number of insurance clients, including a church and several clergy. The six-count criminal information filed in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County alleges that Butler, a former life insurance agent, stole money given to him to purchase life insurance, annuities and other investment products.
The thefts are alleged to have occurred over a four-year period, in amounts ranging from $1,800 to $30,000. Butler is also charged with forging endorsements on checks that clients wrote to an insurance company, and forging other documents to cover up his thefts. Finally, the criminal information charges Butler with having engaged in criminal insurance fraud by misappropriating cash benefits of insurance policies owned by some of his clients, and for continuing to represent himself as an insurance agent after his license was revoked for misconduct in December 1996.
Though a criminal information is merely an allegation of wrongdoing and all defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty, ff convicted, Butler could be sentenced to serve 15 years in prison and fined for each count of theft, insurance fraud, and forgery.
The filing of the criminal investigation follows a joint investigation by the Insurance Fraud Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration, the Maryland State Police, and the Office of the Attorney General.