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Maryland DLLR crack down on architect imposters

A 48 year old man has been charged with representing himself as an architect and practicing architecture without a license. This is the third time in five months that an investigation by Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation's Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing has led to criminal charges against people accused of impersonating design professionals in Maryland. Anthony Robert Alongi of Hagerstown was also charged with felony theft for collecting $2000 from a property owner who engaged him to provide architectural drawings for a commercial building renovation in Hagerstown without knowing he was not a licensed architect. He faces up to 12 years in prison for the offences.

Alongi worked as an estimator for a construction company that the property owner contacted about doing the renovation work. He has never been a licensed architect in Maryland.

"Public safety is at risk if someone is designing structures without the necessary education, training, and experience," said Alexander M. Sanchez, DLLR Secretary. "This is why these professions have rigorous licensing requirements in Maryland."

"The Board of Architects, the State Attorney General's Office and the Washington County State's Attorney's Office recognized the seriousness of this case, and we're glad that this cooperation has produced this result on behalf of the citizens of Maryland."

In October, in another criminal case stemming from a Board of Architects' investigation, a Prince George's County grand jury indicted Darren Dewitt Comedy, of Bowie, on charges of forgery, identity theft, felony theft and practicing architecture without a license. And in November, a Howard County grand jury indicted Lawrence D. Novakowski, of Westminster, on one count of practicing engineering without a license and two counts of counterfeiting a public seal. That case was developed through an investigation by DLLR's State Board for Professional Engineers which, like the Board of Architects, is part of the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

"This sort of activity has the potential to undercut public confidence in design professionals," said Stanley Botts, Commissioner of Occupational and Professional Licensing. "Incidents of impersonation of licensed professionals have been rare in the past but we are hearing about more of them. When we become aware of them, we aggressively investigate and work closely with the various State's Attorney's Offices on criminal cases when warranted."

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