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


February 19, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

MAN CONVICTED OF STEALING STATE INCOME TAX REFUND MONIES

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. and Maryland Comptroller, William Donald Schaefer, announced today the conviction of Michael L. Smith, 4527 Tapscott Road, Pikesville, in connection with the filing of Maryland Income Tax Returns for tax years 1997, 1998, and 1999. Smith, 44,was charged last October with stealing $70,292.30 in Maryland income tax refund monies for tax years 1997-1999, and attempting to steal $28,016.00 in Maryland income tax refund monies for tax year 1999. Smith filed 34 false income tax returns for tax years 1997-1999 and received $70,292.30 in refunds. He also filed 12 false income tax returns for tax year 1999, but those were intercepted by the Comptroller's Office.

In today's hearing, Smith pled guilty to felony theft. The Honorable Nancy Davis Loomis sentenced Smith to five years imprisonment, suspending all but 60 days, and ordered Smith to pay $70,292.30 in restitution to the Office of the Comptroller. Smith was also placed on probation for a period of five years.

The case was referred by the Comptroller's Office, Revenue Administration Division, to the Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Investigation Division.

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