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Prison sentence for man who stole from cops

Nicholas Baccala started a business to raise money for Fraternal Orders of Police in the Baltimore-Washington area. But he wound up raising money for Nicholas Baccala.

Baccala, 51, formerly of Towson, was sentenced to four years in federal prison Thursday for diverting more than $2 million in charitable donations intended for local police into his own bank account, according to a plea agreement entered before U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis in Baltimore.

Beginning in 2002 and continuing through 2005, Baccala put money donated by business owners for their local FOPs, into a separate account that Baccala then drew on for cash and to pay personal bills, as detailed by the U.S. Attorney's office for Maryland which said he took more than $600,000.

Baccala, who moved to Nevada during the scheme, directed employees of his fundraising operation in Maryland -- Amera Funding -- to keep dialing for dollars and sent only a slice of the proceeds to the police.

The thievery sweetened the already sweet deals Baccala had cut with FOPs: from the start, his company typically was entitled to keep 70 percent of the gross contributions.

-- Mary Pat Flaherty

By Mary Pat Flaherty  |  December 4, 2009; 7:30 AM ET
Categories:  Baltimore , From the Courthouse , Mary Pat Flaherty , Maryland  
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