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For Immediate Release
September 20, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

FORMER VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT TREASURER PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLEMENT

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the guilty plea of Darnita Dent, 35, a former treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Chapel Oaks Volunteer Fire Department, to the charge of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary. Charges filed by the Prince George’s County Grand Jury on June 8, 2004 outlined how the defendant stole money from the volunteer fire department over a period spanning from June 1998 through February 2000.

After the Chapel Oaks Volunteer Fire Department established a new savings account, and Dent became the treasurer, she began to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars in cash. The withdrawals continued for over a year and a half. Though the fire department required two board member signatures for each withdrawal, Dent never got a second signature. Much of the more than $40,000 stolen was traced by investigators directly to Dent’s personal checking account and her apartment rental payments. Dent resides on 58th Avenue in Bladensburg, Maryland.

Dent pled guilty September 17 before the Honorable Dwight D. Jackson in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County. The judge set sentencing for November 18, 2004. Dent faces a maximum of six months incarceration to be followed by five years of probation. During that period of probation, Dent will be ordered to pay back monies to the fire department.

The case was investigated by the Office of the Attorney General and the Maryland State Police. It was prosecuted by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Attorney General’s Office.

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