A 26-year veteran of the Prince George’s County, Maryland, police department has been indicted on federal tax evasion and obstruction of justice charges, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.
According to a six-count indictment, Edward Scott Finn, 47, of Dunkirk, Maryland, allegedly deposited checks totaling more than $1.1 million of income into personal bank accounts, or nonbusiness accounts, for work contracted through his private business, Edward Finn Inc. (EFI).
Finn was a Prince George’s County police officer from Dec. 26, 1995 to April 26, 2021. His last rank was lieutenant.
Prince George’s police officers are allowed by law to work in part-time, outside employment positions in addition to their full-time duties.
The work is generally permitted for secondary law enforcement duties, such as security, traffic direction and parking enforcement — also known as Secondary Law Enforcement Employment (SLEE).
From 2015 to 2019, Finn allegedly deposited checks payable to EFI totaling $1,147,684 into non-EFI bank accounts, while also using his business account to create false business expenses, such as pay for bookkeeping to family members and pay for security services.
In addition, he also allegedly used business funds for personal expenses such as car payments, paying credit card bills and to purchase a boat.
“Finn used EFI and employed off-duty law enforcement officers to provide security services to apartment complexes and other businesses, primarily in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties, to manage and operate his SLEE business,” a U.S. DOJ news release stated.
Collectively, the underreported income allegedly resulted in a total tax loss to the government of $312,882, the DOJ said.
Finn is accused of obstructing justice by erasing and resetting cellphone elements as federal agents executed a search warrant on his residence too.
“[T]he indictment alleges that on April 22, 2021, Finn obstructed justice by initiating the erasure and resetting of his cellphone as federal agents executed a search warrant on his residence,” the DOJ said.
“The indictment alleges that a member of law enforcement with 25 years on the job failed to report more than $1 million in income that he earned through a private business, and then obstructed a federal investigation,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner. “No one is above the law, and this indictment should serve as a stark reminder of that principle.”
Finn is expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt at a later date.
If convicted Finn faces a maximum sentence of 45 years in federal prison, with the obstruction of justice charge carrying the largest sentence of up to 20 years.