Skip Navigation

Baltimore County iWatch Logo

Public Safety News

 

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: federal

A $589,000 federal grant will help Baltimore County fire officials provide education about preventing fires and carbon monoxide-related incidents, especially in neighborhoods at higher risk from these tragedies.

Fire officials, along with County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, are scheduled to kick off the program tomorrow at an 11 a.m. press briefing in Randallstown. The briefing will be held at the home of Theodore and Geraldine Barham, 3900 block of Zurich Rd., 21133; the Barhams are the first family to participate in the program.

A key component of the program is demonstration of smoke/CO alarm installation in homes without properly located alarms. Crews from the Randallstown Fire Station will assist the Barhams with smoke/CO alarm installation as part of tomorrow’s event.

“This grant is going to help us save lives,” Kamenetz said. “Working smoke/CO alarms prevent tragedies, and yet so many families in our communities don’t have them or don’t know how to use them.”

About the Program

Several months ago, BCoFD received the most significant federal fire safety grant in years, a $589,000 award issued under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Fire Prevention and Safety program. Under the terms of the grant, the County contributes 5 percent, or $29,452.

“We know that detectors save lives, but telling people to use them isn’t enough – and we know from experience that installing detectors doesn’t necessarily mean they are working,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “This federal grant will enable local firefighters to make house calls to ensure residents not only have detectors, but that they will work when needed. This is exactly the type of common sense investment in public safety that our constituents expect us to prioritize.”

The grant includes the purchase of smoke/CO alarms for distribution to residents who participate in the educational program and meet the program criteria. The grant also includes smoke and CO alarms for the deaf and hard of hearing and printed educational materials in multiple languages.

“Our goal is to help people take charge of their own home fire and CO safety,” said Fire Chief Kyrle W. Preis III.

Fire crews from every career station have been identifying areas in their districts at risk of fire and CO-related incidents. Beginning April 14, Fire personnel will begin canvassing targeted neighborhoods, providing educational information, evaluating properties for safety recommendations and performing walk-through evaluations for residents who request them. Volunteer stations will be invited to assist with these events.

Specific locations will be announced via our social media platforms prior to the firefighters’ visits.

County Council Chair Julian E. Jones Jr., a veteran fire professional, praised this initiative. “After 32 years in the fire service, I know that prevention and early warning are critical in preventing injury and loss of life, and I enthusiastically support this proactive effort by the County to get modern smoke and CO detectors into homes,” he said.

Requesting a Visit

Residents may request a visit from Fire personnel to review home fire and CO safety prevention. A request form is available at www.baltimorecountymd.gov/preventhomefires

 

 

A Baltimore County Police sergeant has been suspended without pay after being charged by the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office in connection with a complex fraud investigation.

Sergeant Daniel Gregory Galloway, 40,  an 18-year-veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department assigned to the Tactical Unit of the Special Operations Section, has been charged with the following:

  • Conspiracy to Commit Theft over $100,000
  • Theft Over $100,000
  • Conspiracy to Commit Theft $10,000 to $100,000 (five counts)
  • Theft $10,000 to $100,000 (four counts)
  • Theft $1,000 to $10,000

In March, the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office was contacted by the Health Care United Federal Credit Union about possible fraud at the institution.  Health Care United Federal Credit Union is located inside the Greater Baltimore Medical Center and handles accounts for employees of that institution, as well as for employees of Sheppard Pratt Hospital.

BCoPD detectives began an investigation and subsequently identified the wife of Sergeant Galloway -- the CEO and manager of the credit union -- as the person responsible for defrauding the institution of money. Charges against Sergeant Galloway's wife are pending.

Sergeant Galloway's wife was employed with the credit union from 2000 to November 2014. She became CEO in 2002. In November 2014, the credit union conducted a routine annual audit of its customers and discovered discrepancies in the Galloways' family accounts. Sergeant Galloway's wife subsequently resigned. The bank hired a second auditing firm to look into the matter; the case was referred to the State's Attorney and to BCoPD in March.

The investigation determined that Sergeant Galloway's wife embezzled money from the bank; falsified records; and issued checks to herself that were supposed to be for bank expenses. Investigation also revealed discrepancies with loans made by the credit union and other lenders to the Galloways. The amount of money involved remains under investigation, but police believe the amount is substantial.

Months of additional investigation showed that Sergeant Galloway was involved. Detectives found that Sergeant Galloway knew of some of his wife's activities, benefited from them and conspired to defraud the credit union.

The charges against Sergeant Galloway do not involve any of his on-duty activities with BCoPD and do not involve public funds.

Sergeant Galloway was served with a criminal summons. Because he was not taken into custody for processing, there is no statement of probable cause and no booking photo.

  


Three people -- all Nigerian nationals and two from Baltimore County -- were arrested yesterday in an elaborate fraud and identity theft scheme that has been under investigation for 2 1/2 years by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Baltimore County Police. More than 35,000 people had their personal identification stolen as a result of these crimes.

Warrants were served at 17 locations, including 10 in Baltimore County. 

Details of the Case

Here is the text of the U.S. Attorney's news article (released yesterday) on this case:

Baltimore, Maryland – Three Nigerian nationals were arrested today, charged by criminal complaint with fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with two schemes using stolen personal identification information.  In addition to the arrests, more than 130 law enforcement officers from nine agencies executed 17 search warrants as part of this ongoing investigation.

Charged by criminal complaint are:

Omolaja Terry Iginla, age 25, of Laurel, Maryland;
Mayowa Olabiyi Towobola, age 24, of Parkville, Maryland; and
Hafis Omowonuola Oladokun, age 38, of Owings Mills, Maryland.

The charges and arrests were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Ivan Arvelo of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Kathryn Montemorra, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington D.C. Field Office; and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.

“Today’s enforcement sends a clear message to those who believe that the profit of cybercrime outweighs the risks of detection and capture,” said Ivan Arvelo, Acting Special Agent in Charge, HSI Baltimore. “The message is that you are not anonymous and you will be arrested.  As we have shown, HSI and its law enforcement partners will vigorously pursue those who steal, peddle, and abuse the private information of American consumers.”

“This has been a complex and important fraud investigation that illustrates the commitment and cooperation of law enforcement personnel at all levels. With patience and a sound investigation, we ensure that perpetrators of such fraud will not get away with ruining the lives of innocent people,” said Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson. 

“Criminal conspiracies involving fraudulent refund schemes victimize our nation’s honest taxpayers,” said Kathryn Montemorra, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington D.C. Field Office.  “Today’s enforcement actions are a reminder that IRS-CI will remain vigilant in our investigation of these schemes and will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to combat this type of criminal conduct.”

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, the investigation began in 2013 when Iginla was initially arrested after accepting delivery for two fraudulent Ghanaian passports.  A search warrant executed at Iginla’s apartment recovered, among other items, an Apple iPod which was found to contain the personal identification information (PII) of more than 35,000 individuals, including names, dates of birth, social security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses; named text files; account numbers and security codes for numerous Green Dot & other prepaid debit cards; business names, addresses, and associated EIN numbers; monetary loss values contained within “text files” associated with the PII of many of the probable identity theft victims residing throughout the United States; and a digital image of a social security card of a probable identity theft victim.  Digital forensic examination of an iOS address book uncovered from the laptop computers seized during the search revealed a contact for “Mayowa”, which is the first name of Towobola.  The cellular telephone number is subscribed in the name of Hafis Omowonuola Oladokun.

According to the criminal complaint, the PII data recovered from the iPod found in Iginla’s apartment was forwarded to the IRS.  Analysis revealed that the stolen PII data recovered from the Apple iPod was used to file approximately 4,500 fraudulent tax returns with the IRS.  The attempted refund amount from these returns is approximately $13,025,000, and over $2,400,000 in refunds has been distributed by the IRS.  Investigation revealed that in some cases, tax refunds were transferred to Green Dot and other prepaid debit card accounts and the funds were then withdrawn from the accounts.  For example, a prepaid debit visa account found in Iginla’s files show that the account was activated on line in the name of D.S.  Within two day of its activation, that account received a direct deposit of a tax refund.  When interviewed, D.S. advised investigators that he had not filed federal tax returns for 2012 or 2013, nor had he applied for or possessed a prepaid visa debit card.  D.S. confirmed that the PII on the account was the same as his.  Prior to his interview with law enforcement, D.S. was not aware of being a victim of identity theft.

During the Iginla investigation, law enforcement became aware of a related investigation, originally initiated by the Baltimore County Police Department, regarding a fraud allegedly perpetrated by Oladokun, Towobola and others, which involved the re-encoding of victims’ debit card account numbers and the purchasing of money orders using PII stolen as a result of the Target Store data breach which occurred during November and December 2013.  Investigation revealed that victim debit card account numbers were re-encoded onto other unknown debit/credit cards, which were then used to purchase money orders and make automatic teller machine (ATM) withdrawals at various banks and retailers located in Baltimore County.  The money orders were then cashed by the conspirators at local check cashing stores.

Additionally, a review of financial records showed that many of the money orders cashed at the check cashing stores in Maryland were purchased with Green Dot prepaid debit card accounts using stolen PII.  Investigation revealed that Oladokun, Towobola and other co-conspirators have cashed approximately 1,105 third party money orders at one check cashing store, totaling approximately $737,373.

The defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for wire fraud and a mandatory two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for aggravated identity theft.  The defendants all had an initial appearance today in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Iginla and Towobola consented to detention and Olakodun was detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.

A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised HSI-Baltimore, IRS-CI, and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked the Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County Police Departments, Maryland State Police and the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Paul E. Budlow and Sandra Wilkinson, who are prosecuting the case.

.

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017