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For Immediate Release
March 31, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

TARGETING AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY, BUSINESSMAN ARRESTED FOR EMBEZZLING OVER $100,000

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the arrest of John St. Augustine McDonald. McDonald was indicted by the Montgomery County Grand Jury on January 29, 2004 on 47 counts of felony theft, embezzlement and securities fraud. McDonald, now 26 yrs. old, was indicted in connection with his ownership and operation of fraudulent business enterprises named after the Potomac, Maryland street he was raised on, Thornapple Capital and Thornapple Sisters. In 1999, he allegedly convinced members of the African-American community to give him thousands of dollars to be invested in stocks he was offering in these companies. Many of the victims were enlisted upon meeting McDonald in church. McDonald was arrested by the Warrant Apprehension Unit of the Boston Police Department in Massachusetts. McDonald is currently being held on a two million dollar cash bond on a fugitive from justice warrant.

An indictment is an allegation of guilt, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. If convicted the maximum penalty for each count of felony theft is 15 years and up to a $1,000.00 fine. The maximum penalty for each count of embezzlement is 5 years, and the maximum penalty for securities fraud is 3 years and up to a $50,000 fine for each count. The case was investigated by the Maryland State Police and the Attorney General’s Securities Division. The case will be prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Investigations Division.

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