August 11, 2021: Baltimore Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty to Charges of Felony Theft and Misconduct in Office
Maryland State Prosecutor Charlton Howard announced today that Ms. Syreeta Saunders, a former Correctional Officer assigned to the Metropolitan Transition Center in Baltimore, pleaded guilty on August 11, 2021, in Baltimore County Circuit Court to charges of Felony Theft Scheme and Misconduct in Office. She was sentenced by the Hon. Robert E. Cahill, Jr. to five years’ incarceration, all suspended, and five years’ probation. Ms. Saunders was also ordered to pay $85,381.76 in restitution to the State of Maryland. Ms. Saunders is the fourth former Correctional Officer assigned to the Metropolitan Transition Center to plead guilty to similar offenses in the last two months.
As part of the statement of facts accompanying her plea, Ms. Saunders acknowledged that during her employment as a Correctional Officer for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) she was prohibited from making changes to her documented work hours in the human resources management program Workday. Ms. Saunders, however, exploited a flaw in the Workday mobile application to change her documented work hours on at least thirty-three (33) occasions, claiming an additional 2,621.74 hours she did not work. Her fraudulent reporting resulted in a collective theft of $85,381.76 from the State of Maryland.
“Ms. Saunders abused her position of trust to steal money from Maryland taxpayers,” said Howard. “Government officials who utilize their office to commit violations of Maryland law must be held accountable.”
“This was an outstanding cooperative investigation by DPSCS detectives and the State Prosecutor. We are committed to rooting out any vestige of fraud and corruption because our hardworking correctional employees deserve better,” said Robert Green, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
Mr. Howard thanked Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Lindsay Bird, Office of the State Prosecutor Special Agent Daniel Bralove, and the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for their collaboration in this effort.