Man faces bad check, theft charges totalling quarter million

Becky Campbell • Mar 27, 2012 at 6:29 AM

A Maryland man accused two years ago of bilking a business owner out of the establishment with a fraudulent check is now accused of stealing close to $270,000 from four other local victims.

Branden Michael Toth, 34, of Stevensville, Md., was scheduled for an appearance Monday in Washington County Criminal Court on two cases from 2010. During that appearance with his attorneys, Stacy Street and Jim Bowman, Toth learned he’s now indicted on two counts of theft over $60,000, one count of theft over $10,000 and a charge of passing a worthless check over $10,000.

After Toth received copies of the indictments, Assistant District Attorney General Ken Baldwin asked Judge Lynn Brown to override another judge’s decision to issue a summons in the cases.

The summons allows Toth to avoid going to jail on the charge while the cases are pending.

“We ask that you look at the pre-sentence report (from the first case),” Baldwin said. “I think it’s highly inappropriate. We think you have the authority to review it.”

Brown said Baldwin can file a motion and give proper notice to the defense if he wants to request a bond.

Street told Brown that if there was a bond on the new cases he would have asked for a summons anyway because his client has already posted a $30,000 bond on the 2010 charges.

“It’s not right judge, it’s not right,” Baldwin said. Still, Brown declined to address a bond issue.

After the hearing, Baldwin said the case involves Toth talking the victims into giving him money on fraudulent real estate projects with a promise of a profit.

Instead, Baldwin said, Toth absconded with the money — $160,000 from one victim — and “they got nothing.”

The 2010 charges against Toth involve his promise to purchase a Keva Juice business, but writing a fraudulent check for $32,500.

“They lost the business and they didn’t get any money,” Baldwin said.

No other action was taken and Brown reset the cases for May 4.

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