Former Silver Spring residents who were extradited from England appeared in court Friday to face federal charges of fraud — allegations that they bilked their former employer of $1.4 million.
Paul Dunham, 58, and his wife, Sandra Dunham, 58, were indicted on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering. The couple were extradited from Northampton, England, to the U.S. on May 22.
They were scheduled to have appeared at a detention hearing Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a news release.
According to the indictment, Paul and Sandra Dunham, citizens of the United Kingdom, worked for Pace Inc., a company that produced parts for the repair and reworking of electronics. Federal prosecutors said the company had offices in Maryland and had a subsidiary in the United Kingdom called Pace Europe.
Paul Dunham was the president and chief operating officer of Pace Inc. Sandra Dunham was the director of sales and marketing for Pace Inc. and for Pace Europe.
The indictment accuses the couple of charging personal expenses to their corporate credit cards and labeling them as business expenses, including $8,000 for furniture, grocery expenses at food markets in Gaithersburg and a $1,270 dog bed.
Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office, said the Dunhams rented a house in Silver Spring. Murphy was unable to provide specific dates for when the Dunhams lived in Silver Spring.
She said the couple also rented a home in Howard County, but had no further details.
The indictment alleged that the couple billed a European subsidiary for business expenses that already had been paid by Pace Inc.
The alleged scheme diverted $1.4 million in corporate funds between 2004 and 2009.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment Dec. 7, 2011.
When reached by phone Tuesday evening, a spokesman for the Department of Justice couldn’t provide the specifics on why so much time had passed between the indictment and the couple’s extradition to the U.S.
Speaking generally, DOJ spokesman Peter Carr said a fugitive could delay a country’s decision on an extradition through procedural challenges. An extradition decision is often subject to review or appeal.
Attorneys for the couple could not be reached for comment Tuesday.