William Wilson Scott, 37, of Bishopville, went to the Maryland State Police barrack in Berlin on Feb. 9 “to clean my conscience,” according a recording of his confession that was played during his trial Wednesday in Circuit Court. Scott told detectives that he had been stealing money from three associations he managed for the past few years and he wanted to turn himself in.
“There’s money that has been used by me that wasn’t mine,” he told the detectives.
In the recorded interview with police, Scott said everything started in 2007, when he took on Atlantic Physical Therapy and owner Robert Hammond as a client. Hammond gave Scott money that year and the next year to pay the company’s taxes, but Scott told the detectives that he used the money, around $170,000, to pay his own personal bills instead.
Hammond disputes what Scott told the detectives. He said Thursday that the two men were friends visiting him from Italy and he denies saying they were guys who knew how to hurt.
“In no way, shape or form did I threaten him,” Hammond said.
In order to repay the money, Scott said he took it from three condo association accounts he managed: the Assateague House, San Remo and Sunset Village associations.
“The only place I knew to get the money from was these condo associations,” he said.
Scott told the detectives that Hammond was not satisfied and demanded monthly payments of $3,000 or he would go to the police.
Hammond denies that he demanded the payments. Scott, he said, came up with that amount.
“He agreed to pay $3,000 a month,” Hammond said. “He came to my house and that’s what he came up with. He said he would pay the penalties and interest.”
Scott paid the money until February of this year, when he went to the police station and confessed his crimes.
“Can you make good on this?” Sgt. Scott Brent of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation asked.
“I want to. That’s why I’m here,” Scott replied.
The investigation led to Scott being charged with six counts of theft and theft scheme. Police alleged that he embezzled more than $820,000 from the three condominium associations. The Assateague House won a lawsuit against Scott in June.
“I had reason to believe they needed to look into their funds,” Cropper testified in court.
At around the same time, Joe Pino, a contractor who had done substantial work on the Sunset Village townhouses, grew concerned when months went by and he did not receive the final $20,000 payment from Scott for his work. He contacted his friend Larry Perkins, who is the treasurer of the Assateague House, since Scott managed both associations’ money.
Perkins checked the account balances of the association’s three bank accounts that Scott had access to and learned there was only around $1,800 among the three.
“I expected to see hundreds of thousands of dollars in those accounts,” he said.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Johnson’s criminal motions trial was postponed, because her lawyer was reportedly in a car accident Wednesday morning. Motions are expected to completed on June 7.