Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon Convicted of Fraudulent Misappropriation. Maryland Criminal Attorney discusses whether this count is a Misdemeanor or a Felony and whether or not the Mayor is subject to a mandatory minimum jail term of one year.
As many have now heard Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon was convicted by a jury today of count four of the indictment that she was facing. This count was Embezzlement – Fraudulent Misappropriation by Fiduciary is a Misdemeanor although one that carries a maximum prison term of Five years in prison. The jury apparently acquitted her of all other counts including count one – Felony Theft which is a felony that carries a maximum penalty of fifteen years in prison. So what conduct constitutes Embezzlement – Fraudulent Misappropriation by Fiduciary?
Pursuant to Maryland Criminal Laws Annotated, Criminal Law Section 7-113 – A fiduciary may not:
1) Fraudulently and willfully appropriate money or a thing of value that the fiduciary holds in a fiduciary capacity contrary to the requirements of the fiduciary’s trust responsibility: Or
2) Secrete money or a thing of value that the fiduciary holds in a fiduciary capacity with a fraudulent intent to use the money or thing of value contrary to the requirements of the fiduciary’s trust responsibility.
The penalty section states that “on conviction (the defendant) is subject to imprisonment for not less than 1 year and not exceeding 5 years. On first blush this would seem to indicate that Ms. Dixon will be sentenced to serve at least a year in prison. However, because the statute does not prohibit the court from suspending any or all of the minimum sentence, it really has no teeth. It is my opinion that the judge does indeed have the authority to suspend the minimum sentence in its entirety should he choose to do so. Whether he chooses to do so is another matter.