The Washington Post

Md. couple accused of using HIV funds on home, cars

A Fort Washington couple is accused of embezzling $1 million in funds intended to fight global HIV infections and using it to renovate their home and buy luxury cars, a federal grand jury in the District charged Wednesday.

The indictment names Mark Adams, 43, who was deputy director of a private firm working for the United States Agency for International Development on HIV and AIDS health education and data analysis in developing countries. With his wife, Latasha Bell, 36, he is accused of submitting bogus invoices for work and services that were not provided and using proceeds for their own benefit, the indictment in U.S. District Court states.

The alleged scheme took place between 2005 and 2010 and involved companies whose identity is not disclosed in the indictment, which grew out of a continuing investigation.

Adams and Bell pleaded not guilty at their arraignments Wednesday.

The couple made “extensive” improvements to their home and bought a Cadillac EXT and Mercedes S550 with money that federal prosecutors charge was stolen through the invoicing scheme.

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Mary Pat Flaherty works on investigative and long-range stories. Her work has won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.

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