Vet char­ity theft case con­tin­ues

Mul­ti­ple agen­cies now in­ves­ti­gat­ing

Maryland Independent - - News - By AN­DREW CEPHAS acephas@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @CalRecANDREW

A multi-ju­ris­dic­tional in­ves­ti­ga­tion has com­menced in the case of a La Plata man ac­cused of steal­ing do­na­tion money from solic­i­tors as well as so­lic­it­ing ma­te­ri­als while em­ployed with the South­ern Mary­land Veter­ans As­so­ci­a­tion, fol­low­ing a dis­trict court de­ci­sion May 12 to dis­miss his charges.

Nor­man Ran­dall McDon­ald, 48, was in­dicted on charges of theft scheme be­tween $10,000 to $100,000 and theft val­ued be­tween $10,000 and $100,000 for the al­leged in­ci­dents, court records show. At a dis­trict court pro­ceed­ing May 12, both charges were dis­missed for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion to be con­ducted.

McDon­ald worked as the so­lic­i­ta­tion su­per­vi­sor for the South­ern Mary­land Veter­ans As­so­ci­a­tion un­til Christ­mas. While in this po­si­tion, from June 1 to Dec. 24, 2015, he al­legedly col­lected do­na­tion con­tain­ers from the as­so­ci­a­tion’s solic­i­tors and re­port­edly pock­eted those funds. Au­thor­i­ties be­lieve McDon­ald em­bez­zled $6,000 in com­mu­nity do­nated funds dur­ing this time pe­riod, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

McDon­ald was fired by the or­ga­ni­za­tion for al­legedly fail­ing to for­ward the col­lected funds to the proper re­cip­i­ents or pro­vide re­ceipts, as re­quired by com­pany pol­icy. He fur­ther al­legedly stole $4,000 worth of so­lic­it­ing ma­te­ri­als, signs, do­na­tion con­tain­ers, la­bels, com­put­ers and other ma­te­ri­als be­long­ing to South­ern Mary­land Veter­ans As­so­ci­a­tion, charg­ing doc­u­ments al­lege. Sev­eral at­tempts to reach out to McDon­ald and ob­tain the stolen prop­erty have failed.

Af­ter his ter­mi­na­tion, solic­i­tors con­tacted the Calvert County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and in­formed au­thor­i­ties of the al­leged weekly thefts. McDon­ald al­legedly in­tim­i­dated solic­i­tors through the use of phys­i­cal force, em­ploy­ment threats or false claims of theft be­ing brought against them, the doc­u­ments state.

“There are open in­ves­ti­ga­tions [on McDon­ald] in Charles and St. Mary’s Coun­ties,” Calvert County Se­nior As­sis­tant State’s At­tor­ney An­drew Rap­pa­port wrote in an email Wed­nes­day morn­ing. “The three South­ern Mary­land ju­ris­dic­tions are co­or­di­nat­ing their in­ves­ti­ga­tions with each other.”

McDon­ald’s case is not the only con­tro­versy sur­round­ing South­ern Mary­land Veter­ans As­so­ci­a­tion. In Fe­bru­ary, af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice, the Of­fice of the Sec­re­tary of State is­sued a cease-and-de­sist or­der to the char­ity, al­leg­ing mul­ti­ple vi­o­la­tions of the Mary­land Solic­i­ta­tions Act, in­clud­ing mis­lead­ing po­ten­tial donors to a char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion, us­ing false and mis­lead­ing ad­ver­tis­ing in con­nec­tion with a so­lic­i­ta­tion and fail­ing to reg­is­ter with the sec­re­tary of state be­fore so­lic­it­ing.

In the fol­low­ing weeks, a dis­trict court de­ci­sion re­sulted in the clo­sure of a build­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion used to house veter­ans in Prince Fred­er­ick, stat­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s prin­ci­pal owner, Dan Bras­hear, breached his lease with un­law­ful use of the com­mer­cial prop­erty.

In 2013, Bras­hear — whose his­tory in­cludes a sec­ond-de­gree mur­der con­vic­tion for which he served 22 years — faced sim­i­lar is­sues when he was ac­cused of op­er­at­ing a fraud­u­lent veter­ans or­ga­ni­za­tion in West­ern Mary­land.

Bras­hear pre­vi­ously has said he plans to fight both the dis­trict court rul­ing and the state.

Ruth Bishop, 84, of Oxon Hill, MD died May 18, 2016. Ar­range­ments by Thorn­ton Fu­neral Home, P.A., In­dian Head, MD.

De­bra Ver­stalla John­son, 54, of Bryans Road, MD died May 24, 2016. Ar­range­ments by Thorn­ton Fu­neral Home, P.A., In­dian Head, MD.

Pa­tri­cia E. Dowe, 57, of Wal­dorf, MD, passed away on May 18, 2016 at Charles Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

On Friday, May 20, 2016, Thelma M. Washington, 56, of Wal­dorf, passed away peace­fully at John Hop­kins Univer­sity Hospi­tal in Bal­ti­more, MD.

Mar­cella Dorothy Cor­rinne, 94, of Wal­dorf, MD, died May 23, 2016 at her res­i­dence. Wife of the late Eugene A. Cor­rinne. Ray­mond Fu­neral Ser­vice 301-934-2920/www.ray­mond­fu­neral. com for fu­neral de­tails.

Brian K. Franklin Sr., 51, of Lex­ing­ton, MD, passed away on May 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. Ar­range­ments by: Briscoe-Tonic Fu­neral Home, 2294 Old Washington Road, Wal­dorf, MD 20601.

John Wes­ley Brown­ing, 71, of Suit­land, MD, died May 23, 2016. Con­tact Ray­mond Fu­neral Ser­vice, 301-934-2920/www.ray­mond­fu­ner­alser­vice.com for fu­neral info.

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