The investigation into a Maryland police officer in the fatal shooting of a man last year led to fraud charges against several Maryland police officers, according to authorities.
Michael Anthony Owen Jr., 33, is in jail on a second-degree murder and other charges in the shooting death of 43-year-old William Howard Green in January 2020. Green was handcuffed when he was shot but did not have a seat belt on, prosecutors said.
“During the investigation, it was revealed that Michael Owen, Mark Johnson and Candace Tyler were connected to several fraudulent insurance claims,” Prince George’s County police said in a statement.
Sources with knowledge of Owen's case say he was so desperate to get out of jail that he revealed an alleged scheme in which he and other area officers were involved.
In January 2020, Owen and 52-year-old Conrad Darwin D’Haiti of Maryland-National Capital Park Police allegedly vandalized D’Haiti’s car and claimed it had been stolen, according to the indictment. D’Haiti allegedly filed an insurance claim seeking reimbursement.
According to the indictment, in January 2020 Owen and 27-year-old Jaron Earl Taylor of the Anne Arundel County Police Department hid a vehicle in order to file a false police report and insurance claim.
In May and June of 2019, 33-year-old Mark Ross Johnson Jr. and 34-year-old Candace Danielle Tyler of the Prince George’s County Police Department and 37-year-old Philip James Dupree of the Fairmount Heights Police Department allegedly withdrew money from their accounts and claimed their debit cards were stolen, according to the indictment.
"They would take the value of those items and then report them stolen to get reimbursed by banks and insurance companies,” said Maryland’s acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzer. “They essentially, they were stealing."
Owen has been suspended without since January 2020, Prince George’s County police said. Johnson and Tyler were suspended with pay in April 2020.
Anne Arundel County police suspended Taylor upon learning of the investigation in February 2020.
"The alleged criminal actions of Jaron Taylor are deeply disturbing and not representative of the men and women of the Anne Arundel County Police Department, who work tirelessly to build trust in the communities we protect and serve," Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal Awad said.
The officers were released with some conditions, except for Owen, who is in jail awaiting trial for Green's death.
Dupree, Johnson and Tyler each face maximum sentences of 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud. D’Haiti and Owen face maximum sentences of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. Owen and Taylor face maximum sentences of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.