A Rockville man is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court next month for his role in a three-year scheme that bilked the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Bethesda-based nonprofit where he worked, out of nearly $300,000.
The scheme is tied to the brutal murder of a foundation executive’s wife at her Potomac home in September 2014.
Federal prosecutors say Lowell Meredith Sherman, 49, admitted to taking part in a plot from April 2011 to August 2014 that led the foundation to buy unneeded computer equipment, which he then sold online on sites like eBay. After reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors, Sherman pleaded guilty in December to federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Authorities say Sherman carried out the scheme with co-worker Andrew Racca, 42, of Chevy Chase. After supervisors confronted Racca about the scheme and told him they would be reporting it to the police, Racca went to the Potomac home of Richard Mattingly, the foundation’s chief operating officer and executive vice president, and murdered his wife, Carolyn Mattingly, 57, before committing suicide.
Authorities don’t consider Sherman an accomplice in the murder.
He could face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud conspiracy charges and must pay restitution to the foundation. The restitution amount will be determined at an Oct. 4 sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, but federal prosecutors believe it could be as much as $292,593. He remains free on a personal recognizance bond.
Sherman worked at the foundation from 2005 to 2010, when, according to his Facebook profile, he was director of enterprise applications. He worked there again from June 2013 to October 2014. Racca had worked at the foundation since 2006 as a senior systems engineer and director of network operations.
The investigation was undertaken as part of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, a joint effort of federal agencies, U.S. attorney’s offices and state and local law enforcement created in 2009 by the Obama administration to crack down on financial fraud.