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For Immediate Release
May 14, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

FORMER UMAB EMPLOYEE SENTENCED FOR 9/11 BOMB SCARE, ID FRAUD AND OTHER OFFENSES

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Clarice Contonia Snowden, 34, formerly of Cockeysville, was sentenced today by the Honorable John Philip Miller, in Baltimore City Circuit Court, on charges that she unlawfully made a false statement and rumor of a bomb, the felony occurring on September 11, 2001. Snowden was also sentenced on the following convictions: felony theft, forgery of checks, and three counts of identity fraud. These crimes were discovered following her 9/11 bomb scare.

Judge Miller sentenced Clarice Snowden to 10 years for making a false statement as to a bomb, suspending five years of the sentence. The Court also imposed a five-year period of supervised probation, with the special condition that Ms. Snowden attend the Fast Program and complete any mental health programs recommended. For the conviction of felony theft of money from the State of Maryland, the court imposed a 15-year sentence, suspending all but six years. For the count of forgery of checks in the name of Claire Williams, the court imposed the maximum sentence of 10 years, suspending all but six years. For each of the three offenses of identity fraud, Snowden received the maximum sentence of one year, which the Court suspended. All the sentences imposed run concurrent, meaning Snowden is to serve six years in the Division of Correction with a remaining sentence of nine years suspended. Judge Miller warned Clarice Snowden that he would be justified in imposing the remaining 9-year sentence if she committed future crimes.

The convictions and sentencing follow an investigation of Snowden, a former State employee, conducted by the Office of the Attorney General Criminal Investigations Division. The investigation revealed that on the morning of September 11, 2001, following the terrorist attacks, the University of Maryland, Baltimore received a call stating there were five bombs in the UMAB buildings and that they should be evacuated. The telephone call was traced to Snowden’s desk at the UMAB Department of Environmental Health and Safety and the recorded statement was identified by co-workers as the voice of Snowden.

Snowden was fired on September 14, 2001. After she was discharged, papers in her desk were found that contained personal identifying information relating to four other women, three being former UMAB employees. The papers included a Social Security card, fictitious driver’s license, and a loan application all bearing the names and Social Security Numbers of the other women. The investigation revealed that Snowden had used the personal information of these women to open bank accounts and to obtain loans and credit cards. In addition, Snowden stole money from the state by using information from a former UMAB employee’s personnel file causing the state to issue a duplicate final payroll check, which Snowden deposited into her own credit union account.

"From the bomb threat to identity fraud, Ms. Snowden’s actions were unconscionable and were deserving of the harsh sanction she received," Attorney General Curran said. "Our Office takes identity fraud very seriously and will continue to vigorously prosecute offenders."

The UMAB Police Department, Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, and Maryland State Police assisted the Criminal Investigations Divisions in the investigation of this case.

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