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Former Tidewater Property Management employee receives no jail time for $55,000-theft scheme

A former Tidewater Property Management employee was given a 10-year, fully-suspended prison sentence Wednesday morning after pleading guilty in April in stealing over $55,000 from individual homeowners and the Wyndham Condominium Association.

Donald Eugene Henderson III, of Pasadena, pleaded guilty to one count of theft scheme between $10,000 and $100,000. On Sept. 7, Howard County Circuit Court Judge Mary Kramer placed Henderson on three years of supervised probation.

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Howard County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Wayne Kirwan said the crime began in January 2014 after a fire suppression sprinkler pipe burst and damaged some of the condominiums on Wyndham Circle in Columbia. After Henderson told three condo owners to pay him to arrange the repair and restoration, which was over $12,500, he then used the money for his addiction, according to Kirwan.

In another case, Kirwan said, Henderson pleaded guilty to stealing over $44,000 from the Wyndham Condominium Association account, which was managed by Tidewater. Between March and June 2014, Henderson had received 38 checks for repair work that were payable to three associates. However, the employee used the funds for prescription drugs, with no repair work ever completed.

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Although prosecutors sought a one-year jail sentence, Kirwan said that Henderson's defense attorney reported Henderson had no criminal record and received treatment for his addiction. Henderson later described the situation as the "darkest time I have ever faced."

In addition to three months probation, Henderson is required to continue attending self-help meetings for his drug addiction.

This story has been updated.

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