ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. - Anne Arundel County police have arrested a man who they say betrayed the community’s trust by masquerading as a cop in order to take advantage of Latino businesses.
They say Christopher Tate – whose real name is Christopher Jefferson – was able to make relationships with law enforcement in the area by volunteering at charity events.
He then allegedly went to businesses in the Latino community demanding business owners to pay him cash, or face fines.
Police say Tate told his victims he works for law enforcement – including ICE.
He was apparently soliciting money for a fake charity and, in one case, reportedly used a real police officer, who unknowingly gave the perception that Tate was authentic.
Investigators say the scheme started last winter.
They say two victims have come forward so far – one in Severn, and another in Annapolis.
When they searched his home, police found a ballistic vest, which is illegal, and multiple badges.
Police “strongly believe” there are “dozens” of other victims. They’re hoping that anyone who may be a victim of Tate’s schemes will come forward.
He’s been charged with:
- 2 counts of theft
- 2 counts of fraudulent ID theft
- Possession of bulletproof armor
- Impersonating an officer
- Possession/Use of false government identification