Maryland State Senator Charged in Federal Bribery Case

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A Maryland state senator from Baltimore has been charged with accepting thousands of dollars in bribes from in exchange for using his position to help a phony real estate development.

Nathaniel T. Oaks, 70, was charged with honest services fraud. He is accused of misusing State House letterhead and introducing legislation that would benefit the fake real estate project for an FBI informant who gave Oaks more than $15,000 in cash.

In a meeting at a Ruth’s Chris Steak House in a Baltimore suburb in 2015, Oaks was introduced to an FBI source who portrayed himself as a businessman looking to obtain contracts in Baltimore through a minority-owned company, court records show.

In the months that followed, Oaks had an assistant type up two letters on his House of Delegates stationery at the businessman’s request in support of what Oaks thought was a Department of Housing and Urban Development project, according to the court filing. Investigators assert Oaks knew the letters contained false statements about his involvement and knowledge of the project.

Oaks later introduced state legislation at the businessman’s request to fund up to $250,000 for the project, according to the court filing.

Oaks faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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