A federal jury on July 24 convicted Daren Kareem Gadsden, aka “D,” 36, of Upper Marlboro, for conspiring to steal almost $1.4 million from a Baltimore City Housing Authority bank account, according to a statement by U. S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and other officials.
“Daren Gadsden stole from the Baltimore City Housing Authority by transferring money directly out of the Authority’s bank account,” said Rosenstein. “The $1,399,700 in taxpayer funds stolen from the Baltimore City Housing Authority was supposed to be used to provide housing, not to line the pockets of criminals.”
According to evidence in the case, in 2009, Gadsden owned a property in Baltimore that was rented to a low income individual whose rental payments were paid by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City directly to Gadsden’s bank account. Witnesses testified that in late 2009 and 2010, Gadsden made a series of inquiries to another bank where he had an account about how to use his computer to make electronic transfers to and from his account at that bank. In early 2010, the Housing Authority lost a few thousand dollars when a series of unauthorized electronic transfers debited funds out of the Housing Authority’s account and into Gadsden’s bank account. After being confronted by Housing Authority officials, Gadsden denied any wrongdoing, but paid the Housing Authority $1,400 to cover some of its losses, according to the statement.
In 2010, Gadsden and several co-defendants conspired to execute a larger scheme. Gadsden contacted Tyeast Brown to plan the fraud. Brown, in turn, contacted William Alvin Darden and Keith Eugene Daughtry, securing from Daughtry his social security card and birth certificate, which she provided to Darden. On May 19, 2010, Darden obtained a Maryland driver’s license with his photograph, but in Daughtry’s name, using Daughtry’s social security card and birth certificate as proof of identity. Darden then used the fraudulent license to open a bank account in the name of Keith Daughtry Contracting LLC. Gadsden had registered the entity with the state of Maryland. Darden also provided a mailing address for the company that was a rented mailing store mailbox.
According to testimony, beginning in July 2010, Gadsden and his co-conspirators electronically transferred funds from the Housing Authority account into the Keith Daughtry Contracting LLC account. Then they electronically moved the money to other banks and made cash withdrawals from in person and from ATMs.
Gadsden faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the bank fraud conspiracy and 22 years for additional crimes. Sentencing is set for October 24.
Tyeast Brown, aka “Peaches,” 42, of Suitland; William Alvin Darden, 46, of Washington, D.C; and Keith Eugene Daughtry, 52, of Washington, D.C., all pled guilty in the scheme. Daughtry and Brown were sentenced to 41 months and 36 months in prison, respectively, and each was ordered to pay restitution of $1,399,700. Darden is expected to be sentenced later this year.