Prince George’s Co. police lieutenant charged with federal tax evasion over security side business

A veteran Prince George’s County, Maryland, police lieutenant has been arrested and charged with federal tax evasion charges after authorities say he underreported more than $1 million in income from a security business he ran on the side.

Edward Scott Finn, 46, of Dunkirk, Maryland, was charged with five counts of attempting to evade or defeat federal taxes. Finn, who joined the Prince George’s County Police Department in 1995, ran a company that employs off-duty police officers to provide security services to apartment complexes in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.

The allegations against the officer were announced Friday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland. Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, in a statement, thanked federal prosecutors for “working to ensure officers like Lieutenant Finn are being held accountable for abusing their authority and eroding public trust.”

The county executive announced a further shake-up of the county’s public safety leadership, which has been under scrutiny over the past year amid claims of discrimination and racial bias in the police department. Alsobrooks said Friday she had asked for and received the resignation of Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Public Safety and Homeland Security Mark Magaw.

Last month, Alsobrooks announced she had selected 29-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department Malik Aziz, who is known as a proponent of community policing, to serve as the county’s new police chief.

Alsobrooks also announced Friday that the current acting chief, Hector Velez, informed her he would retire May 7, two days before Aziz takes over.

Referring to the tax evasion charges against Finn, Alsobrooks said, “While we don’t have all the details following today’s announcement, we do know there are still issues that we must address in our Department, and that new policies and new leadership are needed.”

She said she shared the “disappointment and anger of many in our community regarding yet another negative incident within our Department.”

According to an affidavit, between 2014 and 2019, Finn deposited more than $1.3 million worth of checks for his company’s services into his personal bank account and his children’s bank accounts, and the money was never reported on the company’s corporate tax returns or on his personal returns.

Agents with the Internal Revenue Service obtained search warrants for the company’s QuickBooks files, email accounts and photos from inside a Capital One bank showing Finn depositing the checks into his personal bank account, according to the affidavit.

Overall, the underreported income resulted in a tax loss to the government of $484,281, an IRS investigator wrote in the affidavit.

Finn was arrested Thursday and made an initial appearance Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt before Magistrate Judge Gina L. Simms, where he was released on personal recognizance.

If convicted, Finn faces a maximum of five years on each of the five counts.

In a statement, Velez, the department’s acting chief, said the charges against Finn are “deeply concerning and disappointing.”  He said the department is fully cooperating in the ongoing investigation.

Finn’s police powers were suspended in March on an unrelated administrative matter, the department said in a news release.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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