Clinton CEO convicted in wire fraud case
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis sentence Glenda Hodges, 72, of Clinton, Maryland, to two years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after Hodges pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, relating to the misuse of federal funds, and other fraud related to non-profit and for-profit entities that Hodges operated, and additional fraud committed while Hodges was on bail on wire fraud charges. Judge Xinis also ordered Hodges to confiscate $ 268,573.41 through a pecuniary judgment and pay restitution for the full amount of the victim’s losses, which is $ 295,060.48.
The guilty plea and sentence were announced by United States Attorney General for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge D. Nichole Fleming of the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Justice, Fraud Detection Office; Maryland State Attorney Charlton T. Howard III; and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
“Glenda Hodges not only defrauded the government and taxpayers, she also abused the trust of elderly victims, taking their money to pay for personal expenses and leaving them in debt,” said US Attorney Erek L. Barron. “The perpetrators of this type of blatant fraud will be prosecuted with all the rigor of the law. “
According to the Hodges plea agreement, Hodges was the owner and CEO of Still I Rise Incorporated, a nonprofit that purported to provide services and resources to minority survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. ; Still I Rise Comprehensive Support & Training Services LLC (“CSST”), a for-profit entity; and the Women’s Welfare Center (WWC), a for-profit medical weight loss clinic operated under the aegis of the CSST. Between 2010 and 2017, Hodges received more than $ 2 million in grants from the Office of Violence Against Women (“OVW”), United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Prince George County for implement a program to combat violence against women through Still I. Increase.
As detailed in its advocacy agreement, the three grants DOJ OVW awarded to Hodges and Still I Rise were authorized only for the stated purpose of implementing Still I Rise’s nonprofit program to combat violence. with regard to women; in particular, to provide community-based services related to violence against women, including crisis intervention, support groups, financial and employment counseling, material assistance, vocational training, advocacy, legal and medical support, language services and transportation, and providing a stipend of $ 12,000 each year to Hodges as the director of Still I Rise.
Hodges admitted that she converted grant funding for her personal benefit and to pay WWC payroll and other WWC expenses. By 2016, Hodges had exhausted grant funding and its businesses were in financial difficulty. Hodges then used fraudulent means to inject additional funds into WWC and Still I Rise.
Specifically, Hodges admitted that on October 9, 2015, she stole $ 134,800 from Victim 1 – a Pennsylvania mutual fund – and transferred to a bank account associated with Still I Rise, then used the stolen funds to expenses at WWC and for personal benefit. Additionally, on April 8, 2016, Hodges deposited an amended business check for $ 72,938 related to a federal cancer research grant that was stolen from Victim 2, a top Texas university, in another bank account opened in the name of Still I Rise and of which Hodges was the sole authorized signing officer.
Additionally, between March 10 and August 26, 2016, Hodges fraudulently opened credit accounts at two financial institutions using the credentials of Victim 3, an elderly volunteer from Still I Rise, without the knowledge of the victim or without their permission, accumulating at least $ 40,000 in debt. Hodges admitted that in order to get one of the lines of credit, she had Victim 3 medically transported to a nearby bank. When Victim 3 was brought to the bank, Victim 3 was in pain and was in a wheelchair and had an antibiotic catheter line going to his heart. When the loan for which Hodges transported victim 3 was not approved, Hodges used the personal information of victim 3 to acquire a credit card in the name of victim 3, capped the limit of $ 25,000 on the card and made no payment on the debt. Hodges used the funds to pay for expenses such as Hodges home insurance, internet service, health insurance services, and car repairs.
Finally, Hodges admitted that between October 9, 2020 and October 21, 2020, after her initial charge and while on bail, Hodges defrauded the fourth victim by claiming that she would monitor the victim’s finances for that the victim was preparing to relocate from state. Hodges assured the victim that she would return the funds once the victim moved to their new location. Hodges drove the victim to his financial institution and obtained a check for $ 71,731.85, which Hodges deposited into his own bank account. Hodges spent the victim’s money on personal expenses, without the victim’s permission, and did not reimburse the victim.
Hodges admitted that the actual loss to OVW and Victims 1, 2, 3 and 4 was at least $ 295,060.48.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General, the Maryland State Attorney’s Office, and the FBI for their work in the investigation. Mr Barron thanked Deputy US Prosecutors Kelly O. Hayes and Caitlin R. Cottingham, who pursued the case.
For more information on the Maryland US Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and the resources available to help elderly victims, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/elder-justice-initiative.