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2 get suspended terms in hospital thefts DTC


Two former Liberty Medical Center employees have received seven-year suspended sentences after pleading guilty to bilking the hospital of more than $40,000 in a bogus check scheme, a Baltimore assistant state's attorney said.

At an arraignment yesterday in Baltimore City Circuit Court, Linda Titus Parris, 34, of Reisterstown Road, and Naomi Kerr, 45, of Old Frederick Road, pleaded guilty to stealing $41,625 from the hospital between July 18, 1989, and July 9, 1990, according to Marcella A. Holland, the assistant state's attorney handling the case.

Judge David Mitchell gave the women suspended sentences of seven years and five years on probation. As a condition, the women must repay $13,875, or one-third of the stolen money, to Liberty Medical, Holland said.

Parris' sister, Williene Titus, 39, of Vickers Road, also is charged in the scheme. Her trial is scheduled for March 9, Holland said.

The three were indicted Nov. 15 on felony theft and conspiracy charges by a Baltimore grand jury. Prosecutors became involved after an audit found financial irregularities, Holland said.

Holland said Kerr was a cashier at the hospital and Williene Titus was the accounts payable supervisor.

"They basically had access to the checks and could falsify documents," Holland said. She said the names on the checks were those of actual people, "but [they] didn't deserve checks."

Parris, a former records clerk who left the hospital in 1986, recruited people to receive bogus patient-refund checks of $500 to $800, Holland said.

"They went to Joe Blow and said, 'How about if I cut a check in your name,' " Holland said.

Although collaborators were told they'd get up to $150, Holland said, "they were lucky to get $50."

Holland said the scheme probably stopped when the con artists learned of the audit.

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