BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A nationwide manhunt is underway for a Lutherville man accused of operating a multi-million-dollar telemarketing scheme.
The FBI has now launched a billboard campaign desperate to put the alleged ring-leader behind bars.
Fifty-two-year-old Brian Keith Wallen, of Lutherville is the man federal investigators are on the hunt for.
“When you see a scam like this it’s shocking they were able to succeed for so long,” said U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein.
Wallen is one of two men named in an unsealed indictment.
The judge alleges Wallen was the CEO of several disguised companies that shipped unwanted items to businesses and jacked up the prices, specifically for light bulbs and cleaning supplies.
Authorities say he charged some companies 900% above the prices they paid and in a 4-year span he and several co-conspirators received more than $50-million in payments.
“The scheme involved thousands of victim businesses, as far as his co conspirators, six pleaded guilty,” said FBI’s Scott Hinckley, assistant special agent in charge in Baltimore.
Back in April, Baltimore County police say they found a suicide note at Wallen’s home off Wyngate Road and found his car abandoned at the Loch Raven Reservoir, but investigators believe Wallen is on the run.
“We believe Mr. Wallen is alive and well just invading law enforcement,” said Agent Hinckley.
Leaving some with the question of why feds couldn’t nab Wallen earlier.
“Typically with context fraud schemes, it takes a long time to gather sufficient evidence to prove a criminal case,” said Rosenstein.
Which now has the FBI offering a reward of up to $5,000 for anyone with information that puts the Lutherville man behind bars.
Also named in the indictment is 56-year-old Andrew Stafford of Bel-Air. He was arrested Wednesday morning.
He and Wallen face several fraud charges.
Investigators believe Wallen could be in Florida because of his ties from the extent of the scam…
Anyone with information on Wallen’s whereabouts is urged to call the FBI at 410-265-8080.