Maryland State Police are actively conducting a wire fraud investigation connected to the city of Frederick’s plans to build a new police headquarters, with a preliminary investigation finding the incident involved $280,527.30, according to officials.

“This crime was perpetrated by an unknown actor or actors outside the City, in connection with the new FPD headquarters project. The incident is currently under investigation, and we have been in contact with local and federal law enforcement agencies,” city spokesperson Allen Etzler said in an email.

Etzler said the city couldn’t share information about the investigation because it was active, but that they would share more when they “are able.”

The investigation, which was earlier reported by The Frederick News-Post, began in November 2023, according to a city spokesperson.

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Maryland State Police confirmed they took on the investigation on Dec. 4, 2023. The Baltimore field office of the FBI said it doesn’t confirm or deny investigations as a matter of policy.

“While the FBI is active in working to prevent and mitigate internet fraud and scams, we encourage organizations and individuals to remain vigilant,” spokeswoman Shelley Orman wrote in an email. Resources for victims of internet crime can be found on the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center website.

In a radio interview last week, Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor said the city was a victim of “fraud” and the city had to “make sure that our employees are constantly trained in the most direct ways possible to detect increasingly sophisticated efforts for bad actors to get access to information that they’re not entitled to.”

The city is working with local and federal authorities to “track down the people responsible,” O’Connor said on WFMD’s Morning News Express show. He said the city’s IT department is constantly monitoring for people who are trying to access the city’s networks and systems.

“It’s a constant battle,” O’Connor said on the radio show.

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Frederick is in the process of renovating an existing building into a new headquarters for the Frederick Police Department. The total project cost is estimated at more than $26 million, according to DC News Now.

The timeline for the project remains on schedule, Etzler said. When the city first announced the project, officials said the new headquarters should be operational by December 2024.

Cody Boteler a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others. 

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