The rise in the number of reported sexual assaults on college campuses has become a hot-button topic over the last few years. Unfortunately, it seems that too many prestigious universities and higher learning institutions, including those in Maryland, are discovering that their schools are not free from accusations of criminal activity. Allegations of sexual assault on a campus are usually investigated by local law enforcement agencies. This is then followed up by a university investigation.
Many U.S. citizens, including those here in Rockville, Maryland, probably feel a sense of relief when we read a newspaper or internet story about a crime where the defendant has been convicted. We read the words of the prosecution about how pleased they are with the outcome and we often nod our heads in silent agreement with this assessment. However, all too often we fail to realize that there are too many times when someone has been accused of a crime that they didn't commit. And, even though these innocent citizens have done nothing wrong, they are dragged into a courtroom on phony charges.
Most Montgomery County, Maryland residents are very aware of fraud and identity theft. They know that it doesn't take much personal information nowadays for criminals to establish a false identity in their name and apply for credit cards and loans that could cost these residents unimaginable financial damage. They also know that they have to remain vigilant at all times, so many scour their bank and credit card statements every month searching for any potential problems.Recently, the District Attorney for the District of Maryland revealed that a Sliver Springs, Maryland man pleaded guilty to felony charges of identity theft, money laundering and bank fraud. With his guilty plea, the man now potentially faces serious jail time including 20 years for the money laundering charge, 30 years for bank fraud and two years for identity theft. The federal case was prosecuted as part of President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.The case began in 2009 when the Maryland man applied for a loan in excess of $1.6 million dollars. On his application the man indicated that the money would be used for purchasing a company that manufactured commercial grades of glass. The loan was then guaranteed by the Small Business Association. However, during the application process the man used the social security number of another person. He also used this number on his tax returns and used the social security number of another victim on bank reports.Based on this false information and the SBA guarantee, the loan was approved. The man then opened several different bank accounts and deposited the loan money. A few years later the man defaulted on the loan and the SBA paid the lender the outstanding amount. The man was caught when the man filed for bankruptcy that year. In his filing, he did not mention that the SBA was a creditor. He also didn't indicate that the glass company was his.
People in Upper Marlboro and throughout Maryland who are facing charges for sexual crimes are undoubtedly aware of the stigma surrounding these accusations. The social and criminal ramifications are made even worse if they involve a child sexual assault. In addition to the problems with the law, there might also be long-term consequences on a personal and professional basis with the likelihood of having to become part of a sex offender registry to Keep law enforcement apprised of one's whereabouts.