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For Immediate Release
December 11, 2003
Media Contact: 410-576-6357

ATTORNEY GENERAL CHARGES BALTIMORE MAN WITH IDENTITY FRAUD IN CONNECTION WITH LOTTERY WIN

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the filing of multiple charges against Bernard Parrish, 49, in connection with his use of his deceased father's personal identifying information when cashing in two winning Lottery tickets totaling $10,000. Parrish, of the 1500 block of East 28th Street in Baltimore, was charged with two counts of identity fraud (a felony), two counts of using false information on Lottery prize claim forms (a misdemeanor), and one count of failing to file his state income tax return (a misdemeanor). The winning tickets were Pick 4 tickets, which Parrish cashed in on December 14, 2002. By using his father's identity, Parrish was attempting to avoid paying state income taxes and child support obligations.

Although everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and the charges are merely accusations, the penalty for felony identity fraud is five years in prison and a $5,000 fine; the penalty for false entry in public records is three years in prison and a $1,000 fine; and the penalty for failure to file a tax return is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

When the Maryland State Lottery Agency discovered the fraud, it referred the matter to the Attorney General's Office. The case was investigated by the Maryland State Police and the Attorney General's Criminal Investigations Division.

Arraignment is scheduled for February 27, 2004 in Baltimore City Circuit Court.

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