Non-Profit Ceo, Glenda Hodges Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison After Pleading Guilty to Wire Fraud in Connection with the Misuse of Federal Funds Intended for the Treatment of Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Also Defrauded Another Victim of More Than $71,000 While on Pretrial Release
Greenbelt, MD (STL.News) U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis sentenced Glenda Hodges, age 72, of Clinton, Maryland, yesterday to two years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after Hodges pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, in connection with the misuse of federal funds, and other fraud related to non-profit and for-profit entities that Hodges operated, and additional fraud committed while Hodges was on pretrial release for the wire fraud charges. Judge Xinis also ordered Hodges to forfeit $268,573.41 through a money judgment and to pay restitution in the full amount of the victims’ losses, which is $295,060.48.
The guilty plea and sentence were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge D. Nichole Fleming of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Inspector General, Fraud Detection Office; Maryland State Prosecutor Charlton T. Howard III; and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
“Glenda Hodges not only defrauded the government and taxpayers, she also abused the trust of elderly victims, taking their money to pay her personal expenses and leaving them in debt,” said United States Attorney Erek L. Barron. “Perpetrators of this type of egregious fraud will be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law.”
According to Hodges’ plea agreement, Hodges owned and was the Chief Executive Officer of Still I Rise Incorporated, a non-profit entity which purported to provide services and resources to minority survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking; Still I Rise Comprehensive Support & Training Services LLC (“CSST”), a for-profit entity; and the Women’s Wellness Center (WWC), a for-profit medical weight loss clinic operated under the umbrella of CSST. Between 2010 and 2017, Hodges was awarded more than $2 million in grants from the United States Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) Office of Violence Against Women (“OVW”) and Prince George’s County to implement a violence against women program through Still I Rise.
As detailed in her plea agreement, the three grants that DOJ OVW awarded Hodges and Still I Rise were authorized only for the stated purpose of implementing Still I Rise’s non-profit program to address violence against women; specifically, to provide community services related to violence against women, including crisis intervention, support groups, financial and employment counseling, material assistance, job training, advocacy, court and medical accompaniment, language services, and transportation, and to provide a $12,000 stipend each year to Hodges as the Director of Still I Rise.
Hodges admitted that she converted funding from the grant awards to her personal benefit and to pay WWC payroll and other WWC expenses. By 2016, Hodges had exhausted the grant funding and her companies were financially distressed. Hodges then used fraudulent means to inject additional funding into WWC and Still I Rise.
Specifically, Hodges admitted that on October 9, 2015, she caused $134,800 to be stolen from Victim 1—a mutual fund in Pennsylvania—and wired into a bank account associated with Still I Rise, and then used the stolen funds for expenditures at WWC and for her personal benefit. In addition, on April 8, 2016, Hodges deposited a $72,938 altered business check related to a federal cancer research grant that was stolen from Victim 2, a prominent university in Texas, into a different bank account opened in the name of Still I Rise and over which Hodges was the sole authorized signer.
Further, between March 10 and August 26, 2016, Hodges fraudulently opened credit accounts at two financial institutions using the identifying information of Victim 3, an elderly volunteer at Still I Rise, without the victim’s knowledge or permission, accumulating at least $40,000 in debt. Hodges admitted that, to secure one of the lines of credit, she had Victim 3 medically transported to a nearby bank. When Victim 3 was brought to the bank, Victim 3 was in pain and in a wheelchair, and had an antibiotic catheter line running to her heart. When the loan for which Hodges transported Victim 3 was not approved, Hodges used Victim 3’s personal information to acquire a credit card in Victim 3’s name, maxed out the $25,000 limit on the card and failed to make any payments on the debt. Hodges used the funds to pay for expenses such as Hodges’ homeowners’ insurance, internet service, Medicare services, and car repairs.
Finally, Hodges admitted that between October 9, 2020 and October 21, 2020, after her initial indictment and while she was on pretrial release, Hodges defrauded a fourth victim by claiming she would monitor the victim’s finances while the victim prepared to move out of state. Hodges assured the victim that she would return the funds once the victim was settled in her new location. Hodges drove the victim to her financial institution and procured a check for $71,731.85, which Hodges deposited into her own bank account. Hodges spent the victim’s money on personal expenditures, without the victim’s authorization, and failed to repay the victim.
Hodges admitted that the actual loss to OVW and Victims 1, 2, 3, and 4 was at least $295,060.48.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General, the Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor, and the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly O. Hayes and Caitlin R. Cottingham, who prosecuted the case.