June 14, 2013: Wendy Tyler Statement of Facts
STATEMENT OF FACTS IN SUPPORT OF A GUILTY PLEA
It is agreed by and between the State of Maryland, by Emmet C. Davitt, State Prosecutor and Nicolle Norris, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor, and the Defendant, Wendy Lynn Tyler, and her attorneys, Robert C. Bonsib, Esquire and MarcusBonsib, LL.C, that if this matter were called for trial the State would have produced testimony from witnesses, including Stephen Reed, Nancy Ridgely, and Robert Cease, and introduced documentary evidence, including the bylaws, business, credit card and bank records of the victim Prince George’s County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, FOP Lodge
#112 (hereinafter, “DSA”) and the banking records of the defendant, establishing the following:
From October, 2005 through and including September, 2007 Defendant Wendy Tyler (hereinafter, Defendant), a sworn member of the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Department, served as the duly elected President of the DSA. During the same time period, Nancy Ridgeley served as first vice president and Stephen Reed served as treasurer of the DSA.
The DSA maintained a bank account at the Prince George’s County Federal Credit union. During the period of Defendant’s presidency, the authorized signatures on the DSA bank account were Wendy Tyler, Nancy Ridgely and Stephen Reed. Two authorized signatures were required on each check drawn on that account.
Under the relevant Bylaws of the DSA, any expenditure in excess of $1,000 required a majority vote of the Board of Directors. The by-laws also provided that the President was entitled to receive a stipend in an amount set by the Board of Directors, payable quarterly on: January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1st of each year during the term. Defendant was entitled to receive 8 stipend checks during her tenure. Instead, Defendant obtained 13 stipend payments by check drawn on the DSA bank account. The additional 5 stipend checks were not authorized by the DSA, and were deposited by Defendant into her personal bank account.
Defendant obtained and deposited stipend checks for the last quarter of 2005 and the first and second quarters of 2006 as follows:
Check #4844 dated September 29, 2005 for $1,500; Check #4883 dated December 5, 2005 for $1,500; Check #4923 dated April 3, 2006 for $1,500
In the second quarter of 2006, Defendant also obtained and deposited to her personal bank account $3,000 in the form of two additional stipend checks, knowing that she was not entitled to them because they were not authorized by the bylaws or by the Board of DSA, as follows:
Check #4940 dated April 20, 2006 for $1,500; Check #4945 dated April 25, 2006 for $1,500;
Defendant’s stipend checks for the third and fourth quarters of 2006 and the first quarter of 2007 were issued as follows:
Check #4972 dated July 26, 2006 for $1,500; Check #5008 dated November 8, 2006 for $1,800;
Check #5026 dated December 12, 2006 for $2324.25 (which includes the stipend amount combined with an expense reimbursement).
In the fourth quarter of 2006, Defendant also obtained and deposited to her personal bank account three additional stipend checks totaling $5,400.00, knowing that she was not entitled to them because they were not authorized by the bylaws or by the Board of DSA, as follows:
Check #5005 for $1,800 dated December 18, 2006; Check #5006 for $1,800 dated December 1, 2006; Check # 5007 for $1,800 dated December 20, 2006;
Treasurer Stephen Reed would testify he gave check numbers 5005, 5006, and
5007, in blank, to Defendant at her request so she could pay the annual dues to the state and national FOP organizations to which DSA belonged. Defendant did not pay the dues nor did she return the checks to Reed, so Reed marked the checkbook stubs and blank carbons “void”. Reed did not know that the defendant wrote the checks out to herself and deposited the checks into her private bank account. The check stubs and the carbon
copies of check numbers 5005, 5006 and 5007 that remained in the DSA checkbook are, in fact, marked as void. The checks, however, were not voided but were deposited into Wendy Tyler’s personal bank account and charged against the DSA account. Checks
5005, 5006 and 5007 were signed by Defendant and Nancy Ridgely. Treasurer Stephen Reed co-signed check number 5008 and 5026 the stipend checks that Defendant was authorized to receive for the last quarter of 2006 and the first quarter of 2007.
Defendant received authorized stipend checks for the second and third quarters of
2007 (her last two quarters as Presdident of DSA), as stipulated in the bylaws, as follows:
Check #5069 for $1,800 dated May 23, 2007; Check #5099 for $1,800 dated July 10, 2007.
Additionally, during the tenure of Defendant as President, three DSA VISA credit cards were issued: to Defendant; to Nancy Ridgely; and to Stephen Reed. The VISA credit cards were to be used by Tyler, Ridgely and Reed in their fiduciary capacities to purchase items and services for the DSA. The credit card account was not to be utilized for personal purchases.
On February 11, 2007, Wendy Tyler charged $1050 to Today’s Pet Too, Inc in Annapolis, Maryland. The $1050 charge was for the purchase of a dog for the Tyler family. The $1050 charge appeared on Wendy Tyler’s March 12, 2007, VISA credit card statement. This statement was paid in full by the DSA. Treasurer Stephen Reed stated
that Defendant had called him shortly after the purchase of the dog and told him that she had used the credit card in error and that she would pay it back. Defendant told Reed that the amount owed for the purchase of the dog was $300. He stated that he never received any documentation for the purchase but was sure that he received $300- $350 back and put the reimbursement into petty cash. Reed stated that if he had received a reimbursement of $1,050.00 (the payment for the dog) he would not have put that much into petty cash, but instead would have deposited that large an amount into the checking account. The DSA bank records neither reflect deposit of a reimbursement check from Defendant, nor any corresponding deposit of cash.
Ms. Robin Renee Watkins would state that she worked for the sheriff’s office for
24 years and was the Secretary of the DSA during Wendy Tyler’s presidency. Watkins would testify that Tyler told her that she used the FOP credit card for the dog because she didn’t have enough money in her checking account and she knew that she was just going in the next day to place the money back into the FOP account. Ms. Watkins would also testify that she did not know whether or not Tyler replaced the money.
Robert Cease succeeded Defendant as president of the DSA in October, 2007. Mr.Cease undertook an audit of the DSA’s finances. On August 26, 2009 then DSA president Cease met with Wendy Tyler in her office and told her that the accounting firm discovered irregularities in the DSA’s finances under Wendy Tyler’s presidency. Tyler stated, “I hope you ain’t just looking at me because the last two are just as dirty as me.” During this same meeting, Cease questioned Tyler about the purchase of the dog on the DSA credit card. Tyler initially stated that the dog was so expensive that she had to use two credit cards and she used the FOP card as her second card “by mistake.” Tyler then told Cease that she purchased the dog for a needy family, but when she found out that the needy family was homeless, she kept the dog.
The purchase of a dog that was kept by Wendy Tyler’s family was not an authorized use of the DSA’s VISA credit card and the DSA did not consent to or authorize the $1050 purchase. In light of Stephen Reed’s testimony that he “might have” placed $350 cash from Wendy Tyler into the petty cash fund, it is agreed between the parties that the purchase of the dog resulted in a net loss to the DSA of $700. The parties further agree, based on the facts herein, that the Defendant knowingly obtained from the DSA checking and converted to her own use $8,400.00 in payments that were not authorized and to which she was not entitled. Thus, the total amount of restitution owed by Wendy Tyler to the DSA is $9100.
If called to testify, state witnesses would identify the defendant as Wendy Tyler.
All events occurred in Prince George’s County, State of Maryland.