Fuel Management

Ex-Baltimore Employee Admits to Fuel Theft Scheme

April 05, 2010

BALTIMORE - A former Baltimore public works employee has pled guilty to stealing more than 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel from the city and reselling it as part of a scheme that went unnoticed for a year and a half, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Maurice Boone, 45, was found out Jan. 5, 2009, by a Baltimore County police officer who saw Boone filling several 250-gallon storage tanks with city-purchased diesel at a warehouse on Sparrows Point Road. The officer observed Boone while investigating a car-theft ring.

Boone was fired in March 2009, reported the Sun.

According to court records, Boone told police and an investigator from the city inspector general's office that the plot had been going on since 2007. The tractor-trailer operator would fill a city tanker from a pump at a landfill on Quarantine Road, make several rounds filling city vehicles as part of his job, then sell the remaining fuel for $1 a gallon to an associate named Jimmy, who would leave money for him at the warehouse rendezvous point. The associate was identified in court documents as James Wright, who is a co-defendant in the case.

Boone pleaded guilty March 29 and will receive a suspended eight-year sentence and five years' probation, records show. He must also pay the city $187,000 in restitution, but Baltimore Circuit Judge Lynn K. Stewart delayed sentencing until July, a month after Wright's scheduled trial.

According to the Sun, Boone's lawyer, Marc Minkove, said Boone will testify against Wright "if he's summoned."

A charging document pegs the total amount of diesel that Boone stole at 101,305.4 gallons, but public works officials said they weren't sure of the precise number. A spokesperson for the state's attorney's office said that the losses may have totaled as much as $1 million, but that prosecutors were unable to document the extent of the theft because of insufficient paperwork, reported the Sun.

 

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