Man sentenced for stealing from FOP
A 56-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced Friday to 2 1/2 years in prison for stealing contributions intended for the Fraternal Order of Police in the Baltimore and Washington area, federal authorities said.
Gary W. Toroni was an employee of Amera Funding, a business formed to raise money for the Fraternal Order of Police, according to federal authorities in Maryland. Toroni was convicted in March of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud.
Amera Funding made solicitation calls on behalf of the FOP and collected donations. In return, the FOP gave the company a cut of the money. But in November 2002, authorities said, Toroni and co-conspirator Nicholas Baccala, 51, who owned Amera Funding, opened an account at Mercantile Bank in the name "Friends of Police" to conceal contributions.
The company continued to give some donations to the FOP, authorities said. But between November 2002 until the end of 2005, the "majority" of the about $2 million deposited into the account was from contribution checks intended for FOP but never given to the organization, authorities said.
Some of diverted money went to pay bills and employee salaries, officials said. Officials said Baccala took more than $600,000 for his personal benefit. Toroni, officials said, set up a separate bank account without his partner's knowledge knowledge and stole $253,000 between 2003 and 2005.
Baccala, 51, formerly of Towson, Maryland, pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and was ultimately sentenced to 33 months in prison, officials said.
-- Maria Glod
June 18, 2010; 5:25 PM ET
Categories: Baltimore , Financial Crimes , From the Courthouse , Maria Glod
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