July 31, 2023: Treasurer for Political Committees “Friends of Cathy Bevins” and the “Baltimore County Victory Slate” Sentenced to Six Months Incarceration
Maryland State Prosecutor Charlton T. Howard, III, announced today that William “Christopher” McCollum was sentenced to five years, suspend all but six months, for one count of felony theft scheme and one count of perjury, to run concurrently, by the Honorable Robert E. Cahill, Jr. in Baltimore County Circuit Court. The State requested a period of incarceration of one year.
According to the statement of facts read at the plea hearing on May 25, 2023, McCollum, who served as the Treasurer for the campaign finance committees “Friends of Cathy Bevins” and the “Baltimore County Victory Slate,” was systematically stealing funds raised by the committees, without the knowledge of the candidates the committees sought to support.
McCollum used his position as Treasurer for Friends of Cathy Bevins and the Baltimore County Victory Slate for personal enrichment. Both campaign finance committees were victims of McCollum’s fraud where he used funds from both entities to pay his personal credit card bill, wrote checks to purported vendors and deposited those checks into his personal account, and deposited campaign contribution checks intended for the Friends of Cathy Bevins or the Baltimore County Victory Slate into his personal account.
The transactions for McCollum’s personal gain were not reported on the required campaign finance reports for either campaign committee, including the 2016 Pre-General Report. Such transactions and expenditures are material to the requirements of the finance reports. The 2016 Pre-General Report was signed by McCollum under the penalties of perjury on January 20, 2021, and submitted to the Maryland State Board of Elections.
“I’m proud of our office’s efforts to build a strong case and uncover this fraud,” said State Prosecutor Howard, “we appreciate the Court’s thoughtfulness in sentencing and hope it dissuades others who would seek to undermine Maryland’s election integrity for personal gain.”
Mr. Howard also thanked Deputy State Prosecutor Sarah R. David, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Abigail Ticse, former Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Lindsay Bird, Special Agent Cindy Thomas, and former Special Agent Ruth Jarrell for their hard work on this case.
Click HERE for a copy of the Sentencing Memorandum
Click HERE for a copy of the Statement of Facts