Chapman's Mistress Takes the Stand

July 14, 2004 ( - A former Maryland state official, who allegedly defrauded the state pension system with investments in his own company, told his former mistress and members of the pension's board of directors, that he expected her support on board decisions that affected him.

Debra Humphries testified there was a general understanding between her and Nathan Chapman to offer support for his dealings with the state’s pension system “because he was responsible for my appointment,” according to ongoing coverage provided by   This general understanding, though, did not involve specifics, Humphries said.

Humphries also testified that she actively participated in board decisions that related Chapman’s involvement with the pension system, even though the two were romantically involved at the time.   She also avoided telling anyone on the board about their relationship, because “it would have been embarrassing.”

The testimony of Humphries could have huge implications for Chapman’s actions while serving on the state pension fund’s board of directors.  Chapman was accused last year of illegally investing more than $5 million of Maryland’s state pension funds into his own company.  The former chairman of the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents is charged with 39 separate offenses, including securities fraud, conspiracy, and mail fraud.

In addition to the $5 million pension investment (See  Bad Investment Could Cost MD Millions ), Chapman also allegedly diverted $437,000 from his own firm and two predecessor firms, both publicly held, starting in 1998. The indictment says the money paid for jewelry, a BMW motorcycle, trips and other gifts and financial support for at least three women with whom he had intimate relations.  One of those women was a company vice president and another was Humphries, who became a state pension trustee in 1997 after Chapman pushed former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening to appoint her to the 14-member board.

Humphriespreviouslypleaded guilty to lying to a grand jury about receiving financial support from Chapman.   She faces up to a year in prison.