UPDATE: Former Prince George’s County Delegate Sentenced to 6-Months in Federal Prison for Wire Fraud

January 5, 2020

Admitted Converting Campaign Funds to her Personal Use

Maryland State Delegate Tawanna P. Gaines, age 67, of Berwyn Heights

Maryland State Delegate Tawanna P. Gaines, age 67, of Berwyn Heights

UPDATE 1/04/2020: U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang sentenced former Maryland State Delegate Tawanna P. Gaines, age 67, of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, to six months in federal prison, followed by two months of home detention with electronic monitoring, as part of three years of supervised release, on a federal wire fraud charge. Gaines converted more than $22,000 in campaign funds to her personal use. Judge Chuang also ordered Gaines to pay restitution and to forfeit $22,565.03, which is the loss resulting from her fraud.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.

“Tawanna Gaines betrayed the public trust by using her position in the Maryland House of Delegates to enrich herself, at the expense of her constituents,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Our elected officials are entrusted to make decisions in the best interests of the people they represent. We will pursue and prosecute those who break that trust and bring them to justice.”

“Public corruption at any level undermines the community’s faith in their elected officials thus enabling long-term damage to government institutions,” said FBI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Boone. “The FBI works diligently to detect fraud and corruption and hold those who violate the public’s trust accountable. Anyone who believes they have information about public corruption is asked to contact the FBI at 410-265-8080 or tips.fbi.gov.”

According to her plea agreement, Gaines was a Maryland State Delegate from December 2001 through October 17, 2019, representing District 22, which covered portions of Prince George’s County. Over her years in the House of Delegates, Gaines held many committee assignments, including vice-chair of the Appropriations Committee and Assistant Majority Leader. The “Friends of Tawanna P. Gaines” (FTPG) candidate committee was the name of the finance entity for the Gaines campaign for Maryland State Delegate from June 2002 to the present. FTPG was a regulated state election campaign committee with a designated bank account. Separately, Gaines held exclusive control over a PayPal account used to accept electronic donations to FTPG which was not disclosed in State campaign finance filings.

Gaines admitted that from at least January 2015 through April 2018, she defrauded the campaign and its contributors of more than $22,000. Specifically, Gaines solicited campaign contributions, falsely representing to contributors that the funds would be used to facilitate her reelection and maintain her leadership positions within the Maryland General Assembly. Gaines accepted donations from campaign contributors into the FTPG PayPal account, then without authorization and in violation of Maryland campaign finance laws, utilized campaign funds from the FTPG account for her personal use. Gaines admitted that she received campaign contributions and converted them to her own use without causing the contributions to be identified on reports made to the Maryland State Board of Elections.

As detailed in her plea agreement, Gaines used the campaign funds from the FTPG PayPal account to pay for personal expenses, such as fast food, hair styling, dental work, a cover for the pool at her personal residence, an Amazon Fire TV stick, Amazon Prime membership, and payments to Amazon.com. In addition, during the course of the scheme Gaines withdrew a total of approximately $1,952.75 in cash from ATM machines and electronically transferred at least $2,061.55 from the FTPG PayPal account directly to her personal checking account. The total loss as a result of Gaines’ fraud was at least $22,565.03. As part of her plea agreement, Gaines is required to forfeit and pay restitution in that amount.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas P. Windom, who prosecuted the case.


10/17/2019: Former Maryland State Delegate Tawanna P. Gaines, age 67, of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to a federal wire fraud charge, admitting that she converted more than $22,000 in campaign funds to her personal use.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.

“Our elected officials are entrusted to make decisions in the best interests of the people they represent, not to use their positions of authority to line their own pockets,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur. “We will pursue and prosecute those who betray the public trust and break the law, and bring them to justice.”

“Those who serve in public office positions must uphold the public’s trust. Sadly, Tawanna Gaines abused her position for personal gain,” said Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Boone of the FBI’s Baltimore Division. “Today’s plea announcement sends a signal that the FBI will investigate any public official who attempts to abuse their position of trust to enrich themselves.”

According to her plea agreement, Gaines was a Maryland State Delegate from December 2001 through the present, representing District 22, which covered portions of Prince George’s County. Over her years in the House of Delegates, Gaines held many committee assignments, including vice-chair of the Appropriations Committee and Assistant Majority Leader. The “Friends of Tawanna P. Gaines” (FTPG) candidate committee was the name of the finance entity for the Gaines campaign for Maryland State Delegate from June 2002 to the present. FTPG was a regulated state election campaign committee with a designated bank account. Separately, Gaines held exclusive control over a PayPal account used to accept electronic donations to FTPG which was not disclosed in State campaign finance filings.

Gaines admitted that from at least January 2015 through April 2018, she defrauded the campaign and its contributors of more than $22,000. Specifically, Gaines solicited campaign contributions, falsely representing to contributors that the funds would be used to facilitate her reelection and maintain her leadership positions within the Maryland General Assembly. Gaines accepted donations from campaign contributors into the FTPG PayPal account, then without authorization and in violation of Maryland campaign finance laws, utilized campaign funds from the FTPG account for her personal use. Gaines admitted that she received campaign contributions and converted them to her own use without causing the contributions to be identified on reports made to the Maryland State Board of Elections.

As detailed in her plea agreement, Gaines used the campaign funds from the FTPG PayPal account to pay for personal expenses, such as fast food, hair styling, dental work, a cover for the pool at her personal residence, an Amazon Fire TV stick, Amazon Prime membership, and payments to Amazon.com. In addition, during the course of the conspiracy Gaines withdrew a total of approximately $1,952.75 in cash from ATM machines and electronically transferred at least $2,061.55 from the FTPG PayPal account directly to her personal checking account. The total loss as a result of Gaines’ fraud was at least $22,565.03. As part of her plea agreement, Gaines is required to forfeit and pay restitution in that amount.

Gaines faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang has scheduled sentencing for January 3, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. She is released on her own recognizance under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas P. Windom, who is prosecuting the case.

10/8/2019: A federal criminal information was filed today charging Maryland State Delegate Tawanna P. Gaines, age 67, of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, with a federal wire fraud charge. An initial appearance and arraignment is expected to be scheduled later this week in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.

According to the criminal information, Gaines was a Maryland State Delegate from December 2001 through the present, representing District 22, which covered portions of Prince George’s County. Over her years in the House of Delegates, Gaines held many committee assignments, including vice-chair of the Appropriations Committee and Assistant Majority Leader. The “Friends of Tawanna P. Gaines” (FTPG) candidate committee was the name of the finance entity for the Gaines campaign for Maryland State Delegate from June 2002 to the present. FTPG was a regulated state election campaign committee with a designated bank account. Separately, Gaines held exclusive control over a PayPal account used to accept electronic donations to FTPG which was not disclosed in State campaign finance filings.

The criminal information alleges that from at least January 2015 through April 2018, Gaines defrauded the campaign and its contributors of more than $22,000. Specifically, the information alleges that Gaines solicited campaign contributions representing that the funds would be used to facilitate her reelection and maintain her leadership positions within the Maryland General Assembly. Gaines allegedly accepted donations from campaign contributors into the FTPG PayPal account, then without authorization and in violation of Maryland campaign finance laws, utilized campaign funds from the FTPG account for her personal use. According to the criminal information, Gaines received campaign contributions and converted them to her own use without causing the contributions to be identified on reports made to the Maryland State Board of Elections.

If convicted, Gaines faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud.

A criminal information is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal information is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas P. Windom, who is prosecuting the case.

Maryland State Delegate Tawanna P. Gaines, age 67, of Berwyn Heights

Maryland State Delegate Tawanna P. Gaines, age 67, of Berwyn Heights

43 Responses to UPDATE: Former Prince George’s County Delegate Sentenced to 6-Months in Federal Prison for Wire Fraud

  1. Queen of the Iron Throne on October 8, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Imagine that, a crroked politician from PG County. Who would have expected that.

    • DNC on January 7, 2020 at 7:22 am

      6 months??

      So the reality of that = 3 months (max) in jail.

      Then they allow her the ankle bracelet?

      They convicted her for theft of $22k (she obviously got WAY MORE)

      So that is over $7k per month…..she “cleared” as a lying thief.

      She copped “a plea” deal – meaning she admitted to PART of her crimes in exchange for a lesser sentence.

      She now needs a Go-Fund-Me page for covering her legal bills and the retribution payment.

      No worries! Her constituents will gladly support her!

      No wonder they ALL do it! CRIME PAYS FOR THE DEMOCRAT!

  2. Wiggy on October 8, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    They’re all crooks.

  3. Pam442 on October 8, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Was she a Democrat?

    • Anonymous on October 9, 2019 at 1:10 pm

      Still is!

    • Jimmy V. on October 9, 2019 at 3:17 pm

      Of course.

  4. tiredofthesepeople on October 8, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Must be a Democrat. Send her away for the maximum allowed time!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous on October 9, 2019 at 1:11 pm

      Never see that.

      Probation.

    • Anonymous on October 17, 2019 at 6:18 pm

      I already know that’s a lie. She’s representing PG county, a known cesspool of Democrats that want the Gubment to give them EVERYTHING.

    • Synonymous on October 17, 2019 at 8:04 pm

      No liar She(‘s) a democrat just like you and your fellow ignorant mush mouth bags of shi#.

    • Quick google search on October 17, 2019 at 9:37 pm

      She is actually a democRAT, do a quick google search of her name and you will see her party status listed as democRAT.

    • tavon2 on October 18, 2019 at 11:54 am

      SHE A CROOK

    • facts are facts on October 19, 2019 at 9:38 am

      “Gaines is the third Democratic state lawmaker from Prince George’s to face criminal charges for financial misconduct in the past two years. In 2018, former delegates Michael Vaughn and William A. Campos were sentenced to four and 4½ years in federal prison, respectively, for a pay-to-play bribery scheme involving liquor licenses.”

  5. White Knight on October 8, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    Oh boy not in PG County??? Step up all PG defenders!

  6. Double Standard on October 8, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Guess she’s a Democrat. If she was GOP it would of been mentioned in the Headline..

    • Synonymous on October 17, 2019 at 8:05 pm

      Exactly.

  7. Joe on October 8, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    Nom Nom Nom on Jail food baby

  8. Anonymous on October 8, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    it sets a bad example for elected officials to resign from office before they’ve plead guilty or been found guilty. It gives the criminal justice system way more credibility than it ought to have & sets the example that you’re guilty before you’re proven guilty. Lets not convict on a mugshot, lets not convict because someone s been arrested. We still have jury duty in this county & jurors are supposed to not convict until they vote among themselves to convict. If someone s going to convict based upon an arrest, they should decline jury duty. Part of setting the right example & being a role model is to let the charges play out. If your attorney convinces you to take a plea, then don’t resign until after that.

    • Ben Matlock on October 9, 2019 at 5:40 am

      Pretty sure no one put a gun to her head and told her to resign.

    • Dumocrats for lyfe bro on October 18, 2019 at 8:36 am

      Let me guess, it also sets a bad example for people who are guilty to plead guilty and take their punishment…

  9. Jimmy V. on October 9, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Typical PG Politician.

  10. Ms BLK LADY 2019 on October 9, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    WOW, another Black person in a elected position. Please people there will always be a WITCH HUNT on us. We know facts about the white counterparts of guilty status investigate ALL of the republicans global warning and they All would be arrested for fraud. DOUBLE STANDARDS AS USUAL. They are all in cohoots with the coverups

    • Anonymous on October 9, 2019 at 6:55 pm

      did you want to have a discussion about race & electability? We’ve needed to have a discussion about that for a long time

      • Anonymous on October 18, 2019 at 6:13 pm

        Yeah, how many whites get elected in countries that are predominantly another race?
        How many asians ard in govt.?
        The common color of electability is GREEN.

    • ^^^ Not edumacated ^^^ on October 18, 2019 at 8:39 am

      WOW is right lady. The aim for your comment missed badly, and your inability to express a coherent thought explains why. Stop drinking the cool aid. She is clearly guilty, which is why she resigned. Lets stop justifying everything with “yeah, but, but there are others doing this and worse”. They should get theirs as well, but I dont see how giving this woman a pass helps anything.

  11. Anonymous on October 9, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    The General Assembly (Senators & Delegates) are tasked with making laws. We crack open a bible far more than we crack open a law book, so, we are left to decide what is legal & illegal by using laws as a basis for doing so. Emergency vehicles run red lights to get their passengers to the hospital/ on their way to accidents, so, is it legal to run a red light while you’re on the way to the hospital? Raw vegetables, raw eggs are legal, so is raw milk? Its ok to have plants at your house, so, is it ok to have cannabis? Oh oh oh, what is legal & illegal to do since abortion is allowed? Go ahead and use abortion being allowed as a basis to decide what is illegal. Why not? This is probably not legal to do. Why not? Abortion is legal. Yea, but abortion is …………. abortion is what?

    • Kelly In LP on October 17, 2019 at 9:29 pm

      Just breathe… Seriously.

      • LMFAO on October 18, 2019 at 8:56 am

        Terrifying that these people walk among us. Let me help, you didnt think of everything. Its legal to have ammunition at your house, so can we have nuclear warheads? I have a license to drive a motor vehicle, so can I drive an 18 wheeler, the rules of the road are the same for everyone, right?

  12. Anonymous on October 17, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    ok, delegate Gaines, a day/ a week before you’re sentenced, you should resign, but not until then.

  13. Anony on October 17, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Tawanna P. Gaines is a republican. google it!

    • Sinonymous on October 18, 2019 at 5:32 am

      Tawanna P. Gaines Is a CRIMINAL. Google it!

      BTW, she’s a Democrat which known of us need to look up. When was the last time a republican was elected from PG county?

    • You should look it up on October 18, 2019 at 8:58 am

      Hahahahahahaha. I actually decided to do just that, and look it up. And like everything else the liberals are selling, you are incorrect. She is without a doubt a member of the Democrat party. Liberals are too much. Needed a good chuckle today

      • SBD on October 24, 2019 at 9:39 pm

        All you have to do is apply the opposite of what a liberal says and you have the trutb.

    • Jimmy V. on October 21, 2019 at 11:09 am

      Yeah, Nice Try, Pal. Dems are the most CORRUPT Politicians to walk the earth.

  14. Anonymous on October 18, 2019 at 4:04 am

    Wow she gets 20 years for fraud but a police officer enter the wrong apartment and get 10 years something is wrong with this picture!

    • Anonymous on October 18, 2019 at 3:38 pm

      Yup. Something wrong indeed. One case had intent (the politician) and the other didn’t. Thanks for clearing that up for us. Idiot.

    • Azazel on October 18, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      You’re rignt, and they have done nothing to Elijah Cummings’ wife for transferring money from her non-profit to her for-profit or Elijah’s account. I guess this delegate didn’t have the juice or connections they did.

    • Sinonymous on October 19, 2019 at 6:20 am

      Why do people like you reproduce? She hasn’t been sentenced yet.

      “ U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang has scheduled sentencing for January 3, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.”

  15. Crazy Fools on October 18, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    Crazy Fool Thats the maximum penalty. She has not been sentenced for something she has not been found guilty of.

  16. Sheila Robinson on October 22, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    A useless Plea deal? She’s guilty period and should pay the price and go to jail!

  17. Synonymous on October 24, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    I think you meant; Hillary, Obama, Pelosi, Schiff, Biden, Rice (the true POS), Comy, Brennan, Nadler, Blumenthal, Rosenstein, Cummings, etc, etc, etc, just fill in the blank with the name of a skank ass democrat. Trump is the ONLY one in Washington WITHOUT dirt, which is why they’ve made up yet another lie to display theatrics about, that will produce nothing.
    This S-bag wouldn’t give a fellow S-bag like you any money unless you had dirt on her,….oops, too late.

  18. Azazel on October 24, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    THOU SHALT NOT STEAL.

  19. eye on January 5, 2020 at 10:23 am

    She said on the news, that she had never been in trouble not even a red light ticket ..
    Sorry babe you got that wrong ,,,You just have never been caught .