Today in Maryland

12 Baltimore police cars sidelined as rape probe continues

BALTIMORE (AP) — Twelve Baltimore police patrol cars remain out of service as the department investigates a reported rape that may have involved one of its officers.

The Baltimore Sun reports the department initially pulled 115 cars from service early this week. A woman told authorities early Sunday that she had been in a patrol car just before she was attacked.

Police declined to detail the allegation. An internal police memo obtained by the Sun says the victim told authorities she was near a bar when she met a man who appeared to be a police officer and later raped her.

The sidelined vehicles have been narrowed down by a description provided by the victim, and investigators hope to search the remaining vehicles for evidence.

Information from: The Baltimore Sun,

Federal labor board issues order in nurses' union effort

BALTIMORE (AP) — Nurses at Johns Hopkins Hospital say they intend to pursue unionization following a settlement between the hospital and a federal labor board.

Media outlets report the settlement resolves charges filed by National Nurses United with the National Labor Relations accusing the hospital of unfair labor practices. Hopkins denied the accusations.

Under the settlement, Hopkins management must post signs by June 14 in the hospital affirming the nurses' right to unionize.

Nurse Alex Laslett said in a statement that a union will provide nurses with the protection they need "to advocate freely for the best care for our patients." Nurses say they want union representation for several reasons, including chronic turnover and poor staffing.

Spokeswoman Kim Hoppe reiterated in a statement that the labor board didn't determine the hospital violated federal labor law.

Gang member ordered to pay moving fees to scared off family

CANNON (AP) — A Maryland appeals court says a known Baltimore gang member must reimburse a family he scared away when he threatened to blow their house up.

The Daily Record reports that the appealed order for Teddy Shannon to reimburse the family $2,400 for their lost security deposit and first month's rent was upheld on Tuesday. Shannon previously was convicted of threatening arson and illegally possessing a gun.

The Court of Special Appeals said the family had to flee their home for their safety because of the Black Guerrilla Family gang member's threat. The court cited an earlier precedent in which a robber had to reimburse homeowners he robbed for the cost of changing their locks.

Shannon's attorney, Jeffrey M. Ross, says no decision has been reached on another appeal attempt.

Information from: The Daily Record of Baltimore,

Accountant pleads guilty to participating in Ponzi scheme

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Texas accountant has pleaded guilty in Maryland to participating in a scheme to defraud investors of hundreds of millions of dollars.

U.S. Attorney Robert Hur's office says in a news release that 55-year-old Jay Ledford pleaded guilty Thursday to charges including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Hur's office says the charges stem from a $550 million investment fraud scheme that operated from 2013 through September 2018.

Two other people — 53-year-old Kevin Merrill of Towson, Maryland, and 28-year-old Cameron Jezierski of Fort Worth, Texas — previously pleaded guilty to charges related to the Ponzi scheme.

Hur's office says Ledford provided Merrill with fictitious sales agreements and false tax returns to solicit investors to purchase consumer debt portfolios.

Ledford is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 29.

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