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For Immediate Release
July 19, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

EX-PROFESSOR SENTENCED FOR STEALING
$43,000 FROM UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the sentencing of Evaggelos Geraniotis, 46, a former tenured University of Maryland, College Park professor, on his previous plea of guilty to stealing over $43,000 from the University. Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Maureen LeMasney, sentenced Geraniotis to a one year suspended sentence. The defendant already repaid the University the money he stole, losses which the University discovered in the course of an internal audit. Geraniotis resigned his position with the University after being confronted.

During the time in question, Geraniotis, who lives in a $1.3 million house in Potomac, was a professor in the University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In his earlier plea of guilty, he admitted stealing $43,080.57 from the University and its foundation by submitting fraudulent travel reimbursement requests between 1998 and 2000. Specifically, he claimed that 61 separate trips he had taken were business-related and sought reimbursement for the expenses he incurred, such as air fare, hotels and car rentals. The University, not knowing his claims were bogus, reimbursed him a total of $43,080.57. In fact, each one of these trips was personal in nature; none of them was in any way related to University business.

According to court documents, after Geraniotis was charged, the State discovered that he stole an additional $4,577.12, by causing the State to pay for an automobile accident he had on one of the personal trips covered by his guilty plea.

At the sentencing hearing this morning, Geraniotis asked that he be given probation before judgment, which, if granted, would have caused his conviction to be set aside. In denying the request, Judge LeMasney commented that the over 60 times he fraudulently billed the University for non-business related trips "represented a systematic plan to cheat the University on a monthly basis, and sometimes more often than that". She went on to observe that "the extent and nature of [his] scheme does not reflect someone who makes a one-time mistake - instead, it represents his continuing plan to steal from the University."

In announcing today’s sentence, the Attorney General observed that "in feeding his personal greed, Mr. Geraniotis disregarded the trust placed in him by the University of Maryland, the teaching profession and the students he was charged with instructing."

 

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