Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City

For Immediate Release 4/14/2015

Robert Johnson, 33 and Denita Hill, 26, were found guilty in federal court of wire fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft relating to a scheme to defraud Baltimore City with fraudulent employee retirement benefit checks.

Johnson was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison. Hill, who is scheduled to be sentenced on May 19, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud conspiracy; and a mandatory two year sentence for each of the two counts of aggravated identity theft. 

Johnson worked in the Consumer Relations Service of the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Denita Hill was an accountant in the Finance Department for Baltimore City.

Between July 11, 2013 to August 2, 2013, Johnson and Hill used the financial and identity information of former Baltimore City employees to request fraudulent employee benefit payout checks. Hill identified individuals who had received and cashed large lump sum payments and then requested that such checks be reissued, as if they had not been received. These duplicate checks were printed at the Baltimore City Finance Office, where Hill stole the checks. Hill delivered and endorsed the checks to Johnson. Johnson signed and cashed the checks, and deposited the money into his bank account.

After serving his prison sentence Johnson will be on supervised release for 3 years and serve 75 hours of community service. Johnson testified that the idea for the fraud was one he and Hill formulated together. He also admitted that Hill was planning to purchase a house and told him that he would pay her down payment.

Assistant United States Attorney Tamera Fine, and Assistant State’s Attorney Josh J. Felsen, a cross-designated Special United States Attorney prosecuted this case. “It was an excellent collaboration between our office The Office of the Inspector General, the Baltimore Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Felsen.

Johnson and Hill fraudulently obtained approximately $70,000 all of which was ultimately recovered. “It is intolerable for city employees to steal from the pockets of taxpayers,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “This case makes it evident that we will hold people accountable.”