Washington DC May 30 2021
A D.C. police employee was sentenced to six months of intermittent incarceration and six months of home confinement for taking more than $40,000 in bribes to divulge confidential information from traffic crash reports that was later used to pitch legal and medical services to people involved in traffic crashes, prosecutors said.
Aaron Willis, 38, of Maryland pleaded guilty in October 2018 to one count of bribery of a public official and was sentenced Wednesday, acting U.S. attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.
Willis, a police customer service representative, acknowledged in plea papers that he conspired with two independent “runners” — Marvin Parker and Michelle Cage — who served as middlemen to connect people involved in accidents with legal and medical services providers. Cage and Parker worked in return for referral fees, according to prosecutors.
Willis accepted bribes of $80 per week from Cage and $80 to $200 per week from Parker from 2015 into 2017, he acknowledged in plea papers. Prosecutors said he exported traffic reports more than 12,206 times between June and October of 2017 alone.
Parker met Willis before 2014 at the department’s 1st District station on Capitol Hill, at a time when police policy allowed for the viewing and copying of such reports, prosecutors said. After the department changed that policy by general order Jan. 14, 2015, and restricted access to copies of reports, Parker began making payments to Willis, according to plea papers.
Parker also contacted a second police employee after the policy change and began paying her $400 to $500 per week for emails or texts of photos of her handwritten summaries of reports, according to plea documents. That person has not been identified, but is no longer with the department, police said.
Parker, then 60, and Cage, then 45, both of Maryland, pleaded guilty in July 2019 and November 2020, respectively, to felony bribery. Parker recently completed an 18-month prison sentence, court and prison records show. Cage awaits sentencing and has asked for home confinement citing her and her partner’s health, according to court records.
Separately, a third D.C. police employee, officer Walter Lee, pleaded guilty in August 2019 to accepting more than $15,000 in bribes from February 2018 through February 2019 from another unnamed individual to turn over crash report information.
Lee, who was assigned to the 6th District patrol area, awaits sentencing, court records show.