A Crime & Justice item in the Dec. 10 Metro section incorrectly identified the venue where D.C. police officer E. Mark Torrence pleaded guilty to making and cashing counterfeit checks. It was in U.S. District Court. The item also misspelled Torrence's name. (Published 12/11/02)


Officer pleads guilty: A D.C. police officer pleaded guilty yesterday in D.C. Superior Court to making and cashing counterfeit checks, the U.S. attorney's office announced.

E. Mark Torrance, 28, an officer for eight years who is stationed in the 4th District in Northwest Washington, faces as much as 16 months in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in March. Under the terms of a plea agreement, he also must resign from the force.

Prosecutors said that Torrance and two civilians passed five counterfeit checks, with the other two sometimes presenting bogus D.C. police identification cards copied from Torrance's ID. The checks, which were cashed in July and August 2001, allegedly garnered the men more than $5,900, prosecutors said.

Ex-lawyer sentenced: A former D.C. real estate lawyer was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison, with all but six months suspended, for stealing more than $300,000 from an elderly couple who retained his former law firm to close a real estate transaction.

George E. Tillerson III, 46, of Newport News, Va., was convicted Sept. 25 of first-degree theft. Prosecutors said that in 1995, Tillerson sought money to invest. He withdrew the money from a real estate escrow account held by the firm on behalf of its clients and wired it to a bank in Atlanta. But the investment turned out to be a scam and the money was lost.

Three years of supervised release will follow Tillerson's prison sentence. He also was ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution.

Compiled from reports by staff writers.