A former Prince George’s County liquor board official was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine Thursday after he pleaded guilty in a scheme to accept cash for votes.
Shortly after Anuj Sud, 40, was appointed as a liquor board commissioner in 2015, he began asking people how he could benefit from his new position, according to federal investigators.
“How can I start getting paid?” Sud asked someone who represented businesses set to appear before the liquor board in September 2015.
Sud, prosecutors said, branded himself as someone who “can influence the votes.”
Sud voted in 2015 to lower the penalty for a business facing sanctions and to grant a liquor license to another business with the promise of receiving about $1,000 for each move, court documents state.
A year later, Sud solicited an informant who arranged the bribes for further payouts, which Sud referred to as a “wedding gift.”
Sud pleaded guilty in December to violating the Travel Act, going from one state to another to accept kickbacks. Sud, formerly an attorney, was disbarred after he was charged.
“He accepts and respects the sentence of the court,” Sud’s attorney William Brennan said Thursday.
Sud was one of eight people arrested in a wide-ranging federal investigation involving the bribery of public officials in Prince George’s County. Former Maryland state delegates Michael Vaughn and William Campos, both Democrats representing Prince George’s, were also arrested on corruption charges.
A jury recently convicted Vaughn in the bribery scheme, finding that he took cash to vote for legislation that would expand Sunday liquor sales in the county. Campos pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks for funneling money designated for charitable giving to business owners, nonprofit organizations and other parties in exchange for personal payments.
Both are scheduled to be sentenced on April 13.