Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.

October 5, 2000 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

Two Charged in Combined Theft of Nearly $34,000

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that two former Maryland Transportation Authority toll collectors, Latoya Smith, 24, 1007 Pleasant Oaks Road, Baltimore, and Georgetta Peters, 41, 648 Peach Orchard Lane, Baltimore, have been served with charges of felony theft. Smith is charged with the theft of more than $24,000 from the toll authorities over a period of approximately five months. Peters is charged with the theft of approximately $9,500 from the toll authorities, over a period of two-and-a-half months.

Though an indictment is merely an accusation of wrongdoing and every individual is presumed innocent unless the state proves the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, if convicted of this theft the defendants face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, $1,000 in fines, and could be ordered to repay the entire amount of the alleged thefts.

"I applaud the vigilance of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police," Attorney General Curran said. "We take very seriously our roles in protecting Maryland taxpayers and their money. We will prosecute these cases to ensure that any stolen money returns to the taxpayers to serve notice and hopefully deter those pondering similar crimes."

This case was referred to the Office of the Attorney General by the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who conducted the investigation which resulted in Smith’s and Peters’ termination of employment with the Transportation Authority.