It was strange, Hope Ford thought, all these letters addressed to a man named Mark A. Winters arriving at her father's empty northern Baltimore County home. No one named Winters had never lived in the $875,000 house.
She called police, who opened the letters and found they dealt with Mr. Winters' purchase of a new $35,000 Infiniti J-30 luxury car in September 1992.
Mrs. Ford's curiosity was piqued when she found that Mr. Winters actually lived in a modest home in Cockeysville and that he was a state employee who had been convicted of selling pirated computer software.
Mrs. Ford reported her suspicions to county police a year ago. Yesterday, the attorney general's office announced that a grand jury had indicted Mr. Winters, 37, on a variety of charges, including failure to file income tax returns for the last three years, perjury and theft, including one count involving the Infiniti.
Mr. Winters, of the first block of Valley Ridge Loop, was accused of obtaining the Infiniti car loan under false circumstances by providing the address in the affluent northern Baltimore County area, said Christopher J. Romano, an assistant attorney general. That is theft by deception, he said.
Investigators were also looking at Mr. Winters' activities at the Maryland Department of the Environment, where he was head of data processing from June 1989 to June 1991.
As a result of that investigation, he was charged with stealing more than $82,000 from Systems Associates Inc., which won a $2 million contract to provide a computer system for the department.
Mr. Winters was also charged with perjury for allegedly failing to admit when he applied for a mortgage lender's license this year that he had been convicted of a crime.
In December 1987, Mr. Winters was convicted in Baltimore County Circuit Court of theft for selling pirated computer software as his own. He was ordered to pay $3,356 in restitution to a Florida company.
The latest indictments were returned Oct. 11. Mr. Winters was arrested last week and released on $25,000 bail. He could not be reached for comment last night.