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January 26, 2024: Anne Arundel County Register of Wills Charged with Misconduct in Office, Misappropriation by a Fiduciary, and Theft

Maryland State Prosecutor Charlton T. Howard, III, announced today that an Anne Arundel County Grand Jury has indicted Erica Griswold, Register of Wills for Anne Arundel County, on charges of Misconduct in Office, Misappropriation by a Fiduciary, and Theft.

According to the indictment, on or about June 16, 2023, a cashier’s check for $6,645.00 was received by the Office of the Register of Wills in Anne Arundel County.  The remitter of the check was a beneficiary of an estate open within the Office, and the check was made payable to Ms. Griswold for the purpose of satisfying an invoice from the Office for payment of non-probate inheritance tax.  On or about June 22, 2023, Ms. Griswold allegedly cashed the $6,645.00 check at a local bank in exchange for cash paid directly to her.

On or about August 4, 2023, the remitter of the check contacted the Register of Wills Office to determine why he was still receiving invoices from the Office for $6,645.00 due in inheritance tax, that he believed he had already paid. That same day, Ms. Griswold was made aware that the remitter of the check had contacted the office as to why he was still receiving invoices for the tax the check was intended to pay.  She was subsequently notified on several occasions of the importance of repaying the money to the State.  As of January 24, 2024, Ms. Griswold had not repaid the $6,645.00 due to the State of Maryland for payment of taxes.

“Government officials are expected to be good stewards of the public funds entrusted to them,” said State Prosecutor Howard. “Our agency strives to hold individuals in positions of public trust accountable if they violate that trust for personal gain.”

All individuals who are charged with a criminal offense are presumed to be innocent.

A copy of the charging document can be found here.