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


March 7, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

FORMER BALTIMORE CITY WELFARE CASE WORKER SENTENCED TO THREE MONTHS IN JAIL

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a former case worker employed by the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, Marion Yvette Royster-Umezurik, 37, was sentenced in Baltimore City Circuit Court on her felony theft conviction for stealing $13,212 in public assistance funds. Ms. Royster-Umezurik resides at 215 Rosedale Street in Baltimore.

Stating that he was "very concerned" that Ms. Royster-Umezurik took from a system that supports the needy in the community, Judge Allen L. Schwait sentenced the defendant to three years incarceration, suspending all but three months of the sentence. Ms. Royster-Umezurik’s jail time begins on March 19, 2001. The Court also ordered Ms. Royster-Umezurik to undergo five years of supervised probation, with conditions of probation including payment of restitution to the Baltimore City Department of Social Services in the amount of $13,212.

On October 25, 2000, the Honorable Allen L. Schwait accepted Ms. Royster- Umezurik’s guilty plea based on the following facts: between September 27, 1997 and continuing through December 14, 1997, Ms. Royster- Umezurik plotted to steal, and stole funds in the amount of $13,212 from her employer, the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. The monies were stolen in a scheme initiated by Ms. Royster- Umezurik, who enlisted the aid of two of her public assistance recipient clients. With no legitimate justification or authority, Ms. Royster- Umezurik increased the amount of public assistance funds transferred into the accounts of the two clients by forging authorization forms. The unauthorized money provided to the two recipients’ public assistance accounts was subsequently withdrawn by Ms. Royster-Umezurik alone or by Royster-Umezurik and her two clients, as they withdrew the cash from automatic teller machines via their Independence Card accounts. The State obtained surveillance film from various bank automatic teller machines which revealed that Royster-Umezurik was present when both clients withdrew cash from their DSS accounts. The total amount stolen was $13,212.58. The theft occurred in Baltimore City, Maryland.

This case was prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Investigations Division, after referral by the Department of Human Resources, Office of the Inspector General.

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