September 20, 2004
VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT TREASURER PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLEMENT
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.
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
by investigators directly to Dent’s personal checking account
and her apartment rental payments. Dent resides on 58th Avenue
in Bladensburg, Maryland.
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.