6 Md. law enforcement officers indicted in finance, insurance schemes

Six Maryland police officers have been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly participating in conspiracies to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud, the United States Attorney’s Office District of Maryland announced Wednesday.

The three-count indictment charges the defendants with three separate conspiracies to commit fraud, each of which involved filing false police reports and loss claims with the goal of obtaining money from insurance companies and financial institutions.

The defendants named in the indictments are: Prince George’s County police officers Candace Tyler, 34, Mark Johnson Jr., 33, and Michael Owen Jr., 33; Anne Arundel County police officer Jaron Taylor, 27; Maryland National Capital Park police officer Conrad Darwin D’Haiti, 52; and Fairmount Heights police officer Philip Dupree, 37.

According to the indictment, between May and June 2019, Dupree, Johnson and Tyler conspired to coordinate the withdrawal of funds from their bank accounts through ATMs, then claim the money was stolen in order to seek reimbursement from the financial institutions. This conspiracy allegedly involved filing police reports claiming their debit cards were stolen and used to withdraw funds.

The three and Taylor were expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt on Wednesday.

The indictment goes on to say that in January 2020, D’Haiti and Owen conspired to defraud an insurance company by relocating and vandalizing D’Haiti’s vehicle. They then allegedly filed a police report claiming the vehicle was stolen in order to collect an insurance payout.

D’Haiti is expected to turn himself in “at a later date.”

Owen was already in custody for fatally shooting a 43-year-old man who was already handcuffed and in the front seat of a police cruiser following a traffic stop in Temple Hills.

Finally, the indictment says Owen and Taylor worked together to hide a vehicle in order to report it stolen and claim the insurance money. Owen allegedly filed a police report with the Prince George’s County Police Department saying the vehicle was stolen, and an unnamed co-conspirator submitted an insurance claim for it.

If convicted, Dupree, Johnson and Tyler face up to 30 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud; D’Haiti and Owen face up to 20 years for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud; and Owen and Taylor face up to 20 years for another charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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