A former trustee of the Maryland pension system was sentenced to probation yesterday for lying to a federal grand jury about her relationship with an investment banker who managed more than $100 million from the state retirement fund.
Debra B. Humphries, 46, was sentenced at U.S. District Court in Baltimore to two years of probation, six months of which is on home detention. When she pleaded guilty to perjury in August 2003, Humphries admitted that she had lied about $46,000 she received from Nathan A. Chapman Jr., with whom she had a three-year romantic affair.
Humphries testified against Chapman under a grant of immunity during his fraud trial in July. She said that Chapman never pressured her to increase the pension money under his management but that she understood he "expected my support" because he had recommended her appointment to then-Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D).
Prosecutors detailed votes that Humphries cast to increase the pension money Chapman managed -- and for which his firms received fees -- by tens of millions of dollars.
In August, a jury found that Chapman used state pension money under his management to invest in his own businesses, losing millions when his company's stock price fell in 2000. He was sentenced to 71/2 years in prison.
Humphries has admitted that she and Chapman were romantically involved from 1996 to 1999. She failed to mention the money and other gifts on financial disclosure forms filed with the State Ethics Commission. She said during the trial that she omitted the information because she knew that including it would reveal her relationship.
As part of her immunity agreement, Humphries was not charged in connection with the incomplete financial disclosure forms. She was charged with perjury because she lied to the grand jury after she won the grant of immunity, telling the panel she had received cash gifts totaling no more than $1,500.
Under the terms of her agreement to plead guilty to the perjury charge, she faced up to a year in jail at yesterday's sentencing.
She resigned as a trustee in July 2003, shortly before her indictment on the perjury charge.