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


October 10, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

FORMER COMPANY CONTROLLER SENTENCED TO YEAR IN JAIL FOR THEFT AND TAX PERJURY

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Cresencio "Cris" Castelo, 56, of Bel Air, Maryland, was sentenced in Prince Georgeís County Circuit Court on his conviction for felony theft, arising out of his 24-month scheme to steal over $93,000 from Compucel Service Corporation, the Laurel-based computer services company where he was company controller. Castelo was also sentenced on his conviction in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court for wilfully filing false Maryland state income tax returns in 1998 and 1999, with the intent to evade the payment of taxes due to the State of Maryland Comptroller of the Treasury.

On October 9, 2001, for the crime of felony theft, the Honorable Sherrie L. Krauser sentenced Cris Castelo to 15 years, suspending all but 1 year. She ordered the defendant to report for incarceration on Friday, October 14. Judge Krauser also imposed a five-year period of supervised probation, with the special condition that Castelo pay restitution to Compucel Service Corporation in the amount of $81,528.66; the Defendant repaid $12,000 of the money stolen from his employer when he was first confronted about the embezzlement by Compucelís president.

At the defendantís request, the sentencing for Cresencio Casteloís tax perjury conviction on September 4, 2001 in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, was transferred to Prince Georgeís County Circuit Court. For the tax perjury conviction, Judge Krauser sentenced Castelo to 10 years incarceration, suspending the sentence. The court further imposed another five-year period of supervised probation with the probationary condition that Castelo pay state income taxes evaded by Castelo in 1998 and 1999 in the amount of $6,431.95. The sentence imposed for the tax perjury conviction runs consecutive to the sentence imposed for the felony theft.

"Mr. Castelo committed the ultimate abuse of his authority as controller," Attorney General Curran said. "His actions created serious financial problems for his former employer and his former colleagues and now he will have a year in jail to contemplate whether it was worth it."

Before the sentence was imposed, Compucel president Brian A. Smith informed the court of the impact that Casteloís theft caused to his company, including tax problems and the need to lay off six employees, a cost-cutting measure Castelo supported. These cases were prosecuted by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Maryland Attorney Generalís Office.

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