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Crime

Man fired by Baltimore Police over prior gun charge, homicide investigation now faces charges of wire fraud of COVID-19 relief funds

The man Baltimore Police fired in April over an old gun charge and what Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said was his status as a “person of interest” in a 2020 homicide now faces federal charges for wire fraud of COVID-19 relief funds.

A federal indictment dated June 23 shows Dana Hayes faces five counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering and one count of aggravated identity theft. He is accused of a scheme to defraud in order to “unjustly enrich himself” through federal funds for small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Hayes worked as the chief of fiscal services for the Baltimore Police Department for all of nine days before he was fired and detectives handcuffed him in the office.

His firing made headlines and prompted the mayor to call for a “comprehensive review” of the police department’s civilian hiring practices. Harrison said at the time that Hayes was fired after a background investigation didn’t show a past gun charge and because he’d been identified as a “person of interest” in a homicide investigation.

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He was arrested in 2018 on gun charges that were later expunged from his record.

The federal indictment states Hayes incorporated a company, D&L Investment Properties, in 2015 and listed himself and his mother as 50% co-owners. The incorporation was forfeited in 2019 but then revived around April 2020.

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The state’s labor department has no wage records for the company, according to the indictment, and federal tax records show the company never employed any individuals.

But, according to prosecutors, Hayes submitted applications for pandemic relief loans with false statements about the number of employees and payroll expenses.

In a previous interview with The Baltimore Sun, Hayes said his stepfather, Ricky Jones, worked for D&L Investment Properties. Jones was shot multiple times July 26, 2020, in Northwest Baltimore.

In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, Hayes said police tried for more than a year to connect him to his stepfather’s killing. Hayes said he has told police on several occasions he did not kill his stepfather, but thinks police are investigating him because he was the last person to talk to Jones. He has not been charged in that case.

“What motive would I have?” he said. “He never did anything to harm my mother. He never did anything to make us feel unsafe.”

Hayes received $15,000 from the Small Business Administration and loans of $12,500 and $22,536 from the PPP. He transferred $35,000 to his personal savings account, the indictment said.

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He also is accused of filing a fraudulent tax form with an identification number attached to a tax preparer who previously worked with Hayes but did not fill out the fraudulent form. Hayes faces a federal charge of aggravated identity theft for that offense.


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