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Non-profit owner pleads guilty to charges related to gambling federal funds intended for Baltimore youth

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Posted at 6:01 PM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 18:01:46-05

BALTIMORE — Baltimore non-profit owner Tyrone Sherrod of Aberdeen, Maryland, pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges of wire fraud and filing a false tax return.

According to his plea agreement, the 49-year-old owned and operated the non-profit between 2015 and 2019. The program provided after-school and summer education and sports programs at a Baltimore elementary school. In 2015, he was granted approximately $1.1 million paid over a three-year period under the sub-program federal funding initiative.

The amount paid each year is based on the detailed budget provided that must be submitted alongside the grant application. For Sherrod, he received a 15% advance payment, and the remaining funds were reimbursed monthly after turning over payroll registers, receipts and a detailed budget summary, also called Project Invoice Summaries.

“Sherrod gambled away federal grant funding intended to uplift Baltimore youth,” said U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron. “Our office will continue to prosecute individuals who blatantly misappropriate federal funds intended for our youth and communities and use it to line their own pockets.”

According to officials, between 2016 and 2018, 19 of Sherrod’s Project Invoice Summaries falsely reported an estimated total payroll of $746,000 when in actuality totaled $212,622. The summaries also detailed overstatements of wages earned, hours worked, and periods of employment.

Additionally, he hired a certified personal accountant to arrange tax returns between those same years. He gave the CPA fraudulent statements that were entered into his Form 1040 Individual Income Tax Return.

As detailed in his plea agreement, Sherrod lost a significant amount of his grand funds through gambling at casinos, incurring approximately $547,000 in gambling losses and withdrawing $552,270 in cash from one casino’s ATM.

He faces a maximum of three years in federal prison for filing a false tax return and a maximum of 20 years for wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 17.