Franchot Hosts Life Science Summit; Releases Report Showing Maryland is the Nation’s Bioscience Leader

Life Science sector generates over $29 billion in economic output, 120,000 total jobs, $11 billion in income and nearly $600 million in taxes annually

Columbia, MD (December 13, 2007)- Declaring that Maryland’s future economic success must be tied to the life sciences industry, Comptroller Peter Franchot today joined with leading members of Maryland’s research, business, academic, investor and scientific communities at the Maryland Life Science Summit. The Summit, held in Columbia, Maryland and sponsored by the Comptroller’s Office, also featured the release of the Maryland Life Science Economic Impact Study which showed beyond a reasonable doubt that Maryland is a national leader in the life sciences and the highlighted the tremendous economic benefits the industry brings to the state. The study also recommended several strategies the state could use to foster further growth in this vital sector.

“It is clear that Maryland is already one of the world’s leading centers for the life sciences, and I am determined keep us at the forefront of this dynamic and life-changing industry.” said Comptroller Franchot. “However, if Maryland is to maintain its economic prosperity and competitive edge, we must redouble our efforts to support the life sciences industry. That’s what this entire summit was about, and I am delighted that we had such a broad, cross section of Marylanders in attendance.”

Summit attendees represented almost all Maryland economic sectors, including: health care, legal, financial, investment banking, construction, manufacturing, tourism, education, telecommunications, real estate, engineering, government contracting, information technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology and aerospace. In addition, the state’s federal and military institutions were represented along with local and state elected officials. While in the past meetings of this sort have been limited by geography and industry sector, the goal here was to bring together a diverse group from all over the state and convene a summit that would have input from all interested stakeholders.

“This Life Science Summit can serve as a powerful catalyst as we search for comprehensive strategies to take Maryland’s life sciences industry to new heights in the international arena, said State Delegate Brain Feldman. “I commend Comptroller Franchot for taking the lead in organizing this critically important event.”

The Summit featured presentations that provided analysis and forecasts for the state’s life science investment climate and the state’s life science real estate market. There were several presentations highlighting the economic development opportunities surrounding the extensive network of federal institutions in the state. The state’s research efforts and educational strategy were presented by speakers such as Johns Hopkins University President William Brody, University System of Maryland Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan and National Cancer Institute Director John E. Niederhuber. In addition, Mr. James Pitts, Corporate Vice President and President of Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems spoke of the need for the private sector to actively get involved in the state’s secondary education system to help foster the well educated workforce needed for all technology sectors.

“Engineers and scientists, including those required in the life sciences industry, are so vitally critical to ensuring the future quality of life for all of us, including the security of our nation,” said Jim Pitts, corporate vice president and president Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems.

“We stand on the threshold of exciting new discoveries that promise to revolutionize how we treat illness and prevent disease,” said JHU President William Brody. “Maryland is where some of the most exciting roads to discovery in medicine are going to originate, and working here are the women and men who will be charting the way.”

Other speakers included former National Science Foundation Director Dr. Rita Colwell, Dr. John Dyer, Deputy Commissioner and COO, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Mr. Darryl Rekemeyer, Director, Fort Detrick Business Development Office; Matt Zuga, Managing Director, Red Abbey Venture Partners; Robert Scheer, President, Scheer Partners; Mr. Drew Greenblatt, President, Marlin Steel Wire Products, ; and Jonathan Genn, Executive Vice President of Percontee Inc.

“Thanks to Maryland’s colleges, universities and research centers, our state is well positioned for dominance in the life sciences,” said Chancellor Kirwan. “The University System of Maryland alone attracted nearly $1 billion in external research funding last year, some of which contributed to Maryland’s position as the top state in attracting R&D funding in the life sciences. Our challenge now is to further enhance the partnership between government leaders, university officials and business leaders to make the decisions and investments needed for the state to realize its full potential as a life sciences leader.”

The Summit also featured the release of the Maryland Life Sciences Economic Impact Report. The study was conducted by Sage Policy Research Group whose analysis measured the economic and fiscal contributions of both private bioscience enterprises and institutional employees directly engaged in research and development activities.

Based on this analysis, the study team concludes that Maryland’s bioscience sector is among the nation’s largest, if not the largest, generating $29 billion in economic output, supporting 120,000 total jobs, $11 billion in income and nearly $600 million in State government taxes annually. Jobs supported directly by the state’s life sciences industry pay $108,000/annum on average. Almost one-fifth of bioscience workers hold doctorates and over half have graduates degrees. In other words, the sector supports nearly 5 percent of Maryland’s total employment, more than 8 percent of its wage/salary income, and over 11 percent of gross state product.

Over the next decade, Maryland’s biotech sector is poised to become even more globally pre-eminent. The development of two biotechnology parks in Baltimore City in conjunction with the massive and expanding life sciences cluster in Maryland’s D.C. Suburbs may be enough to push Maryland past Massachusetts and California assuming that Maryland isn’t already number one.

The Comptroller and the report offered several strategies to ensure this growth including: allocating a higher percentage of State pension fund dollars toward investment in technology industries; increasing funding for its seed funding programs such as TEDCO, DBED’s Maryland Venture Fund and UMCP’s MIPS program; adding tax incentive programs to encourage private sector investment in the state and proactively identifying Marylanders who could benefit from those programs.

Copies of the report are available online at the Comptroller’s website,

Contact: Joseph Shapiro, 410-260-7305 (office), 443-871-2244 (cell)

Comptroller Agents & Police Confiscate Illegal Cigs, Guns & Drugs from Baltimore City Store

–Butt Bust Yields Unexpected Cache of Firearms & Marijuana–

Annapolis, MD (November 9, 2007) – Agents for Comptroller Peter Franchot along with members of the Baltimore City Police yesterday confiscated over 8000 packs of cigarettes, a large quantity of marijuana and various firearms from a Baltimore City business.

“People who blatantly disregard the law will not be tolerated,” said Comptroller Franchot. “My agents will continue to work closely with our partners in local jurisdictions to enforce Maryland’s tobacco laws which protect law-abiding businesses and keep our communities free from this contraband.”

Agents executed a search and seizure warrant at Joseph’s Tobacco Shop at 5416 Harford Road in Baltimore. Yesterday’s bust comes at the end of a week-long investigation after an undercover officer visited the store and discovered that the business was operating without a valid license. The operator of the store was subsequently instructed to immediately discontinue all sales until he obtained a valid license.

Upon serving the warrant, a total of 8,431 packs of cigarettes with an estimated value of more than $33,000 were found and later seized by Comptroller agents. In addition, a large quantity of marijuana and other drugs, a 7.62 caliber semi-automatic rifle, a .22 caliber rifle, and two semi-automatics pistols as well as a total of $2,114.00 in cash were seized by Baltimore City Police.

Agents arrested the owner/operator of the business, Mr. Han Yeong Yu, 49 of Baltimore. He faces two charges including: unlawfully selling cigarettes without the required license, a misdemeanor that carries a $1,000 fine and/or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days; unlawfully doing business in the state without a valid Trader’s License, a misdemeanor carrying a $300 fine or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days. Additional charges relating to the illegal drugs and firearms will be filed by the Baltimore City Police Department.

So far in fiscal year 2008, Comptroller agents have charged 11 individuals with tobacco violations and have confiscated a total of 12,819 packs of cigarettes at an approximate value of $51,532.

Contact: Warren Hansen, 410-260-7082 (office), 240-315-7159 (cell)

Comptroller & AA Co. Sheriff’s Office Nabs 40 in Joint Sting Operation

ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 22, 2007) — Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced the results of a joint sting operation from this past weekend with the Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office which arrested 40 individuals who were wanted in the county on various criminal warrants.

“I want to applaud the great work of Sheriff Ron Bateman and the members of the Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office and my field enforcement agents for making this joint operation so successful,” said Comptroller Franchot. “Our office is proud to continue partnering with our friends in local law enforcement in various and innovative ways to keep our communities safe and protect law-abiding individuals and businesses.”

On October 5, the Comptroller’s Office sent letters to the 500 most recent persons wanted in Anne Arundel County on criminal warrants ranging from misdemeanors to felony charges. The letter stated that the Comptroller’s Office found that the individual had overpaid on his/her taxes and had a $572.26 tax refund coming to them from the State.

The letter recipient was advised to report to the Comptroller’s Annapolis Office at 80 Calvert Street on Saturday, October 20 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. in order to receive their refund check. In total, 40 individuals were arrested by County Sheriff personnel upon arrival at the office, clearing 54 outstanding warrants.

“The success of this operation was possible due to the strong collaborative partnership that exists between the Comptroller’s and Sheriff’s Offices,” said Anne Arundel County Sheriff Ronald Bateman. “I look forward to continuing our strong relationship as we work together in future operations.”

As the chief regulator of all alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel products, Comptroller Franchot and his field enforcement agents also continue to work closely with local law enforcement officials from across Maryland to crack down on cigarette smugglers and the sale of illegal alcohol and motor fuel.

Contact: Warren Hansen, 410-260-7082 (office), 240-315-7159 (cell)

Comptroller Franchot: “Eliminating Personal Tax Liabilities Just a Mouse Click Away”

-Bill Pay Latest in Line of Customer Service Innovations Unveiled by Agency -

Annapolis, MD (October 22, 2007) – Comptroller Peter Franchot announced today that taxpayers can now eliminate personal tax liabilities through the click of a mouse by using Bill Pay, the newest online innovation designed to streamline the tax payment process.

“Our highest priority at the Comptroller’s Office is to provide efficient and timely service to Maryland taxpayers,” said Comptroller Franchot. “I urge anyone who is eligible to take advantage of Bill Pay. It is fast, easy and secure.”

Bill Pay allows taxpayers to log into their tax account online by providing their name and Social Security number and to make direct debit payments for personal tax liabilities dating back to 1979. Taxpayers with liabilities dating before 2007 will be required to make immediate payment, as all current liabilities are past due. However, beginning in 2008, individuals who have a liability for tax year 2007 will be able to select a payment date up until the tax deadline of April 15.

Over the next several months, the Comptroller’s Office hopes to make this service available to additional liabilities including sales and use, withholding and corporate taxes. Taxpayers receiving notices from the agency will be encouraged to pay online using Bill Pay. Additionally, the Comptroller’s Office currently accepts credit card payments for tax liabilities but through a third party vendor, Official Payments.

In August, Comptroller Franchot unveiled two additional online services now available to taxpayers, which allow them the option of establishing direct debit payment plans for personal income tax liabilities as well as submitting hearing appeal requests. Bill Pay is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week from any home, office or public access point at

Contact: Warren Hansen, 410-260-7082 (office), 240-315-7159 (cell)

Comptroller Franchot Announces New Online Customer Service Innovations

Annapolis, MD (August 20, 2007) – Reiterating his strong commitment to enhancing taxpayer services, Comptroller Peter Franchot today unveiled two new features on his office’s Web site designed to help streamline the tax-paying process. With this announcement, Maryland is now one of the first states in the country to offer online options for establishing direct debit payment plans for personal income tax liabilities as well as submitting hearing appeal requests.

“Our number one priority at the Comptroller’s Office is to always provide the best customer service possible,” said Comptroller Franchot. “Simplifying the payment process makes it easier on the taxpayer and creates more efficiency. I urge all eligible Maryland taxpayers to take advantage of this new initiative.”

Individuals who owe state back personal income taxes can now set up an online direct debit payment agreement through the Comptroller’s Web site. Prior to this innovation, taxpayers were limited in choosing from more rigid payment schedules of three, six, nine or twelve months. To be eligible to use this new option, a liability must exceed $100 and individuals must make a minimum payment of at least $25 per month. Payment plans can last for no longer than 24 months.

In addition, taxpayers who receive notices of assessment or denials of claims for refunds for taxes and fees administered by the Comptroller’s office can now submit an online hearing appeal request. By law, Maryland taxpayers have the right to file an appeal if they are assessed a tax, fee, interest and penalty charges, or if they are denied a refund. This new service will allow taxpayers to schedule a hearing based on their availability. Both of these new services can be accessed through the Comptroller’s Online Service Center, available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week from any home, office or public access point at

Contact: Christine Duray, 410-260-6346 (office), 443-336-0215 (cell)

Comptroller Franchot Tells Tax Cheats To Beware

Maryland’s 50 Worst Tax Delinquents Now Listed at

ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 6, 2007) – Comptroller Peter Franchot today updated the “Caught in the Web” page on his agency’s Web site,, listing the names of 25 businesses and 25 individuals owing more than $6.1 million in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest.

“The vast majority of Marylanders are hard-working, honest and pay their fair share in state taxes,” said Comptroller Franchot. “This program highlights those who would enjoy the benefits of living in Maryland and allow their neighbors to shoulder all the financial costs. The Comptroller’s Office is committed to ensuring that everyone pays their fair share.”

Since the program’s inception in 2000, the agency has collected over $20.3 million from 451 delinquent taxpayers. In the past six months alone, officials have collected $1.5 million in back taxes from 32 scofflaw taxpayers.

“Caught in the Web” was created to send a message to those who have ignored all attempts by the state to collect overdue taxes. The names of the 50 individuals and businesses owing the largest amounts in back taxes are listed on the agency’s Web site until payment has been received or a payment plan has been set up.

Initially, the Comptroller’s Office sends a letter to a delinquent taxpayer listing any unpaid charges incurred for taxes, interest and penalties and asking for return correspondence. Should the taxpayer fail to pay, provide a qualifying reason for having not yet paid, or enter into a payment plan, the Comptroller’s Office may then:

  • file a lien
  • garnish wages
  • prevent renewal of state business licenses
  • prevent renewal of professional and occupational licenses
  • attach assets (including bank accounts)
  • intercept state and federal tax refunds
  • file an estimated assessment for taxes due in unreported periods
  • issue a summons to appear at a hearing to revoke a sales tax license or initiate other legal processes
  • suspend state payments if the taxpayer does business with the state

A free brochure, entitled, Delinquent Tax Collections and You, is provided by the Comptroller’s Office to fully explain how to resolve a delinquent tax matter and what to expect if overdue taxes are not paid. The brochure can be downloaded from the agency’s Web site, at The list of the 50 tax delinquents can be viewed on CompNet.

Contact: Christine Duray, 410-260-6346 (office), 443-336-0215 (cell)

Comptroller Announces Successful Year for Crackdown on Illegal Alcohol, Cigarette and Fuel

Annapolis, MD (July 31, 2007) – Emphasizing his commitment to vigilant enforcement of the state’s tax laws, Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced the fiscal year 2007 results of his office’s enforcement activity to get illegal alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel off Maryland streets. Making the announcement in one of the office’s holding facilities for contraband products, Franchot praised the work of his agents and local law enforcement officials in working together to protect law abiding businesses from law breakers.

“Vigorously enforcing the tax laws of this state and protecting honest Maryland business from the scourge of tax scofflaws remains a top priority,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot. “I am very proud of the work our field enforcement officers have done and the results from this past fiscal year are a testament to their efforts. I also applaud local law enforcement agencies across the state for working in partnership with our office to make sure that we send a message loud and clear that we will not tolerate this type of activity.”

For the fiscal year 2007, which ended on July 1, a total of 50,392 packs of cigarettes valued at $207,145.82 were confiscated along with $174,897.55 worth of alcohol products, which include wine, distilled liquor and beer. Agents also made 359 arrests for motor fuel violations, a 131 arrest increase from the previous fiscal year. In addition, over $1.4 million of delinquent sales and use tax was collected by the office, all of which goes to the state’s general fund.

Contraband alcohol and tobacco products are retained by the Comptroller’s Office as evidence against a defendant until a pending case is adjudicated. If the defendant is found innocent of charges, then the products are returned to the owner. However, if the defendant is found guilty, the evidence is turned over to the Comptroller’s Office which is required by state law to sell the product, with the exception of beer due to shorter shelf life. In order to bid on the product, one must have a Maryland retailer or wholesaler license for either alcohol or tobacco. All money collected from sales then goes back into the general fund.

In recent years, the Comptroller’s Office has increased its enforcement efforts to crack down on the sale of illegal cigarettes and alcohol. With a looming $1.4 billion deficit, the Comptroller pledged to continue working with local law enforcement officials to ensure that the state and local jurisdictions get the revenue they are due.

“Stricter enforcement of existing tax laws is one method that can help solve the structural deficit. These results are another example of how our office is committed to making sure that all Marylanders pay their fair share of taxes,” said the Comptroller.

The Comptroller encouraged local law enforcement officials to contact his office at 410-260-7388 regarding anything they may feel relevant to efforts in enforcing the laws pertaining to alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and/or motor fuel. This includes partnering with the Comptroller’s Office in the area of cigarette sales to minors. The Comptroller is responsible for not only issuing the cigarette and special cigarette licenses needed for over the counter sales of cigarettes, but also has the right to reprimand, suspend or revoke those licenses for improper use.

“We stand ready to work with local officials,” said John Horney, Director of the Comptroller’s Field Enforcement Division. “Cooperation between agencies is the key to effective law enforcement and Comptroller Franchot is anxious to spread the word to the law enforcement community that his office is yet another tool available to them.”

CONTACT: Joseph Shapiro, 410-260-7305 (office), 443-781-2244 (cell)

Field Enforcement Division – Enforcement Activity
Fiscal Year 2007


Arrests 73
Amount 278.29 Wine (gallons)
205.18 Distilled (gallons)
5292 Beer (containers)
Value (retail) $174,897.55

Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property Booths Coming to a Fair Near You

Annapolis, MD ( July 18, 2007) — Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced that employees of his office will be setting up booths this summer at events throughout the state to allow people to check his office’s files of unclaimed property. This summer-long outreach effort will stretch until mid-September, and will include stops at five county fairs and the Maryland State Fair. A complete event schedule is listed below.

“Our number one job at the Comptroller’s Office is to serve the people,” said Comptroller Franchot. “Part of that responsibility is to connect people with unclaimed funds so they get what they are owed. I urge Marylanders who are attending any of these events to stop by our booth. Stay tuned as we come to a community near you this summer and help reunite people with their lost treasures.”

Financial institutions, utilities, insurance companies and other corporations are required to report to the Comptroller any bank accounts, security deposits, wages, insurances benefits and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been unclaimed after three years. Funds remain the property of the owners or their legitimate heirs and can be claimed anytime. There is no statue of limitations.

Last year at the State Fair alone, more than 500 people claimed lost property totaling almost $206,000, with the highest single claimant netting $31,052. Currently, the agency has records on approximately 714,000 accounts worth more than $580 million.

Other outreach methods used by the agency include issuing annual newspaper advertising supplements as well as searching for owners by matching files with Internal Revenue Service and state Motor Vehicle Administration records. Nearly 14,000 people found lost money in this year’s unclaimed property newspaper advertising campaign.

The Comptroller noted that if people are unable to attend any of this summer’s events, they can check his agency’s complete unclaimed property records for free, online, at either or Anyone who finds their name should to contact the office at 410-767-1700, in Central Maryland, or toll-free at 1-800-782-7383, to find out how to make a claim.


Washington Metro Region
Montgomery County Fair August 10-18, 2007
Prince George’s County Fair September 6-9, 2007

Baltimore Region
Harford County Fair July 26-29, 2007
Howard County Fair August 4-11, 2007
Maryland State Fair August 24 – September 3, 2007
Anne Arundel County Fair September 12-16, 2007

Contact: Christine Duray, 410-260-6346 (office), 443-336-0215 (cell)

Comptroller Franchot Announces Partnership To Cool Sale of ‘Hot Fuel’

Annapolis, MD (July 3, 2007) – Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced a new partnership between his office and the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) to test the temperature of gasoline storage tanks throughout the state to ensure that consumers are getting a fair shake at the pump. Working with weights and measures inspectors from MDA, Comptroller enforcement agents will begin temperature testing in mid July, to verify that gas is being properly stored at the reference temperature of 60 degrees or cooler.

When the average temperature of fuel in storage tanks at the retail outlets exceeds 60 degrees, it is commonly referred to as ‘hot fuel.’ When fuel is hotter, it expands and consumers may not be getting the expected energy value for their dollar.

“I am proud that my agents are working with inspectors from the Department of Agriculture to ensure that Maryland consumers are being protected at the pump,” said Comptroller Franchot. “With gas prices continually rising, consumers deserve to know whether they are getting what they pay for before they hit the road.”

“There is currently no long-term inspection data on actual fuel temperature at the pump anywhere in the country,” said Agriculture Secretary Roger Richardson. “This partnership will not only help protect consumers here in Maryland, but add to the information available to inspectors nationwide.”

MDA inspectors, will monitor and record data on the temperatures of storage tanks around Maryland over the next fiscal year to verify that fuel is being kept at proper temperature. After joint analysis of the data collected, the Comptroller’s Office will issue quarterly interim status reports, with the first report covering the period from July through September 30.

Today’s announcement is a part of an overall effort by the Comptroller’s Office to help consumers deal with the rising gas prices this summer. In addition to testing for ‘hot fuel,’ Comptroller Franchot previously announced that his agency would be asking oil companies to explain their rationale behind zone pricing as well as adding information to his office’s Web site to help consumers locate stations where prices are the lowest and file online complaints.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture is responsible for making sure there is fairness in the marketplace by ensuring the accuracy of weighing and measuring devices, including fuel pumps. If consumers feel they are not getting an accurate amount of fuel, they report their concern by calling 410-841-5970 during regular business hours.

Joseph Shapiro, Comptroller’s Office, (410) 260-7305 work, (443) 871-2244 cell
Sue duPont, Agriculture, (410) 841-5889 (work)

Comptroller Agents Busts Repeat Offender, Buttlegger for Illegal Cigarettes

Annapolis, MD (June 22, 2007) – Agents of Comptroller Peter Franchot today confiscated nearly 3,500 packs of illegal cigarettes in two separate incidents, one involving an Anne Arundel business and another with a Washington County man. The Washington County bust marks the first arrest by Comptroller’s agents of an individual attempting to sell cigarettes over the Internet, a practice that has been illegal since 2005.

Agents discovered an online ad offering an unlimited quantity of cigarettes for purchase and set up a meeting to buy the cigarettes for $30 a carton with the suspected seller, James Kevin Morgan of Hagerstown, at a Frederick County mall parking. After the purchase was completed, agents arrested Morgan and seized 300 packs of untaxed cigarettes valued at more than $1,200.

Morgan faces four charges including selling cigarettes without a license, unlawful possession and transportation of untaxed cigarettes, and selling cigarettes ordered via a computer network. While the first two violations are misdemeanors, unlawful transportation and selling cigarettes bought online are both felonies that carry jail sentences up to 2 years.

“Those who think they can elude the law by selling cigarettes through the internet are sorely mistaken,” said Comptroller Franchot. “My agents will aggressively pursue those violators who are cheating the state out of tax revenue is it due.”

In a separate morning incident in Annapolis, Comptroller’s agents, working with the Maryland State Police, executed a search and seizure warrant at S & H Yoon, Inc., t/a Quick Save Mart, located at 524 Defense Highway where they confiscated a total of 2,933 packs of contraband cigarettes found on display.

This bust stemmed from a month-long undercover investigation during which agents purchased cigarettes from the unlicensed business. Quick Save Mart was cited both in 2005 and 2006 for the same violation and, on both occasions, agents seized a large quantity of cigarettes.

The business owner/operator, Sung Man Yoon of Millersville, faces three charges each of unlawfully selling cigarettes without the required license in addition to unlawfully doing business without the required trader’s license. The penalty for selling cigarettes without a license in Maryland is a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail while businesses found operating without a trader’s license in Maryland are subject to a $300 fine and/or 30 days in jail. Both violations are misdemeanors.

Thus far in fiscal year 2007, the Comptroller’s Office has arrested 69 individuals for tobacco violations and seized 50,392 packs of cigarettes valued at $207,145.82.

CONTACT: Christine Duray, 410-260-6346 (office), 443-336-0215 (cell)