Half a dozen police officers from local jurisdictions, including one from the Anne Arundel County Police Department, have been indicted on federal fraud-related charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.
Anne Arundel County Police Officer Jaron Earl Taylor, 27, faces up to 20 years in prison after federal prosecutors said he and an officer from the Prince George’s County Police Department hid a vehicle in order to file a fraudulent insurance claim, according to indictment unsealed Wednesday.
Three officers from the Prince George’s County Police Department, and an officer from both the Maryland-National Capital Park Police and Fairmount Heights Police Department in Prince George’s County also face charges including conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and/or mail fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Anne Arundel County Police officials said Wednesday that the department became aware of the allegations against Taylor in February of 2020, and the agency then contacted local authorities as part of an ongoing criminal investigation. Taylor is currently suspended without pay, and his police powers have been suspended, and an internal investigation has been opened, the department said in a statement.
“The alleged criminal actions of Jaron Taylor are deeply disturbing and not representative of the men and women of the Anne Arundel County Police Department who work tirelessly to build trust in the communities we protect and serve,” Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal Awad said in a statement.
Taylor was hired in August of 2017 and was assigned to the Bureau of Patrol before his suspension.
According to the indictment, Taylor and Prince George’s Officer Michael Anthony Owen, Jr., 33, hid a vehicle in a garage, and Owen then submitted a false police report to Prince George’s County Police claiming that that the vehicle was stolen. Another, unidentified co-conspirator submitted an insurance claim to Geico seeking reimbursement for the vehicle that was reported stolen, according to the indictment.
Owen, of Prince George’s County, faces up to 20 years in prison. He did not have an attorney listed in federal court records Wednesday.
The indictment also alleges that three other officers withdrew money from their bank accounts through ATMs, and then claimed their debit cards were stolen, and sought to be reimbursed from the banks. As part of the scheme, prosecutors alleged, they then filed police reports to the Prince George’s County Police.
Owen and another officer also vandalized a vehicle in order to file a fraudulent insurance claim, and filed a police report claiming that the vehicle was stolen, the indictment said.