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The Baltimore Sun

Man found dead in Canton fire identified

A man whose body was found in a burning Canton rowhouse on Feb. 20 has been identified as the dwelling's owner, but the cause of death remains under investigation, a city Fire Department spokesman said yesterday.

Shortly after firefighters gained control of the early-morning fire that heavily damaged all three floors of the debris-filled house in the 3000 block of Elliott St., they found the body of James W. Flanagan, about 60, in a bed on the second floor, said the spokesman, Chief Kevin Cartwright. The cause of the blaze has not been determined.

Richard Irwin

Baltimore: Indictment

Man, 56, charged in wire, mail fraud

A Baltimore man who previously served prison time for fraud bilked more than 900 investors out of $8 million in a Ponzi scheme, the Maryland U.S. attorney's office said yesterday.

Prosecutors said David McDowell Robinson, 56, was indicted on wire fraud and mail fraud charges.

The indictment said Robinson was sentenced to eight years and 10 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in 1996 to charges of mail fraud arising from three schemes. He also served prison time after 1989 convictions in Anne Arundel County for fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary and misconduct in public office.

Robinson was released from federal prison in April 2003.

Prosecutors allege that he launched a new company, Liberty Trade International Inc., and the company solicited investments of up to $10,000 and promised returns of up to 30 percent, saying it would provide short-term "gap financing" to homebuyers or to people refinancing their homes to generate the returns.

Robinson instead paid investors with funds received by other investors, creating a classic Ponzi scheme, prosecutors said.

Associated Press

Carroll County: Westminster

Sugarin' Festival has been canceled

The 21st Annual Maple Sugarin' Festival has been canceled and will not be rescheduled, according to officials at Hashawha Environmental Center in Carroll County.

About 1,000 patrons were expected to attend Sunday's event, but recent snowfall has reduced the amount of available parking, and officials expect that mud from rain that is forecast will further aggravate the situation.

Visitors can purchase maple products Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at Bear Branch Nature Center, 300 John Owings Road, Westminster.

Information: 410-848-9040.

David P. Greisman

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