Westminster Man Pleads Guilty to Counterfeiting State Seal to Fake Engineering Credentials


A Westminster man who has been posing as a professional engineer pleaded guilty this morning to one count of counterfeiting a public seal in Howard County Circuit Court this morning. Lawrence D. Novakowski, 51, of the 3000 block of Nicodemus Rd. pleaded guilty to using the Maryland state seal to fake credentials that enabled him to work at a Columbia engineering firm.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Kim Oldham told Judge Timothy J. McCrone that State Board of Professional Engineers and the Maryland Department of Licensing and Regulation’s Division of Occupational Licensing (DLLR) launched an investigation into Novakowski’s credentials in July 2009 after receiving a letter of complaint from a Sparks, MD engineering firm that formerly employed Novakowski. The Sparks firm alleged that Novakowski’s credentials were fraudulent and also notified his-then employer in Columbia.

According to Oldham, when confronted by his employer Novakowski stated that his license had been suspended due to child support issues but indicated that he was about to be reinstated. Shortly thereafter, he produced a forged letter from DLLR indicating that his suspension had been lifted. Oldham stated that the person who signed the letter “does not exist.” Oldham also told the court Novakowski was not a licensed engineer and that the license number he possessed belonged to another individual and that it had expired in 2001.

A DLLR investigator subpoenaed documents from Novakowski who produced framed college diplomas including one from Johns Hopkins University, plus additional engineering licenses from the State of New York and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. All documents were deemed “fictitious” and Novakowski later admitted to purchasing college transcripts and degrees from an online source for $500.

Novakowski will be sentenced on July 1. Oldham indicated that under terms of the plea agreement she will ask Judge McCrone to sentence Novakowski to two years of active incarceration.