Former City Technology Contractor Pleads Guilty to Theft Scheme of $100,000 or More
Thursday Feb 4th, 2016
February 4, 2016 – Investment Management Enterprise, Inc. (IME), a former technology contractor for the City of Baltimore, has pleaded guilty to one count of Theft Scheme of $100,000 or More before Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.
An investigation by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was launched in March 2014 after receiving allegations that the Mayor’s Office of Information Technology (MOIT) paid contractors for work they did not perform. The investigation discovered that the billed hours for certain personal services contractors were inflated. Inadequate contract management and oversight failed to catch the overbilling. The investigation did not result in any criminal charges against any City personnel.
In July 2014, an indictment was issued for Twyla Garrett (the CEO of IME), as well as for the corporation itself, for a single charge of theft resulting from a continuing scheme over $100,000. The State issued the indictment after discovering IME had been submitting false invoices to MOIT from January 1, 2013 to January 15, 2014.
On Wednesday, Judge Fletcher-Hill accepted a plea agreement in which IME as a corporate entity pleaded guilty to one count of theft greater than $100,000. IME was sentenced to three months of probation and ordered to pay restitution of $165,520 to the City of Baltimore. A check was provided by IME during the proceedings for the full restitution amount. As part of the plea deal, the criminal charge against Ms. Garrett was dismissed.
“This case reflects the City’s resolve to identify and prosecute corrupt vendor practices and cases involving contract administration will continue to be a high priority for the OIG,” said City Inspector General Robert H. Pearre, Jr.
“The investments that I have made in the Office of the Inspector General demonstrate my commitment to rooting out fraud, waste, and abuse,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “I want to commend the Inspector General for securing restitution to the taxpayers of Baltimore City.”
Inspector General Pearre extends his thanks to Assistant State’s Attorney Joshua Felsen, who prosecuted the case.