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Ellicott City, Md. - An Annapolis man who promised appearances by Ravens players to local schools pleaded guilty in court Thursday in Howard County. Joseph Gill offered the players up for anti-bullying assemblies to schools and their PTAs, but had no affiliation with the team.
Gill's plea was to one count of theft scheme. And he'll pay dearly for his crime. A Howard County Circuit Court judge gave him an eight year sentence. The 53-year-old's plea may be the first of many. Court documents show Gill is also accused of scamming 17 schools in Anne Arundel County and four schools in Baltimore County.
In Howard County, prosecutors say Gill got $4,600 from five schools or their PTA groups late last summer and fall. They say he took their money upfront for assemblies that would feature Ravens players. But after cashing the checks, Gill would claim the players couldn't make it and word quickly spread he was running a scam.
Court records also show Gill told a Baltimore County detective he was simply a sloppy business man and had intentions of making the assemblies happen. But his guilty plea acknowledges he was running a theft scheme.
In addition to the $4,600 taken from Howard County schools, Gill got thousands more from the other districts. In the plea, Gill admits to getting $1,200 from Baltimore County as well as nearly $14,000 from the schools and groups in Anne Arundel County.
Charges related to a similar scheme involving Gill were also filed against Gill in Queen Anne's County, but were later moved to the STET docket and not prosecuted.
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