MARYLAND

Fraud sentence: A federal judge in Greenbelt sentenced a Prince George's County man yesterday to seven years and three months in prison for his role in defrauding merchant banks.

U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte ordered Charles Tilghman, 38, to pay more than $1 million in restitution and to forfeit to the federal government $34,730 seized from his bank accounts.

In a plea agreement, Tilghman admitted that from 2001 until his arrest in February 2003, he and others defrauded merchant banks that provide credit card processing services to small businesses, said Maryland U.S. Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio. Tilghman and his co-defendants incorporated several companies and used stolen credit card numbers to submit fake charges, DiBiagio said. The money from the merchant banks was wired to bank accounts set up by Tilghman and others, authorities said. Merchant banks lost more than $1.1 million in the scheme, DiBiagio said.

VIRGINIA

Abduction: Prince William County police are searching for a Manassas area woman who they said abducted her 8-month-old son from his grandmother's house yesterday afternoon. The woman, Michelle Marion, had only visitation rights to the child, said Detective Dennis Mangan, a police spokesman.

An arrest warrant charging Marion, 30, of the 8600 block of Nagle Street, with parental abduction has been issued, Mangan said.

Marion was visiting the boy's grandmother in the 7400 block of Willoughby Lane in the Manassas area when she took the child and fled in her green 1993 Chevrolet Caprice. Police said she is known to frequent Winchester, Va., and Fauquier County. Mangan said police do not know whether the boy is in imminent danger, "but there's still some concern because she does not have custody."

Compiled from reports by staff writers.