Criminal Justice News

Friday, May 11, 2012

Car Dealership Controller Sentenced in $10 Million Fraud Scheme Against Employer

PITTSBURGH—A resident of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania has been sentenced in federal court to 78 months in prison, three years’ supervised release, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $10,349,569.14, and ordered to forfeit the property listed in the information filed against her on her conviction of wire fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

“Patricia Smith victimized her employer, Baierl Acura, for no other reason than greed,” said U.S. Attorney Hickton. “The court’s decision to sentence this defendant to a lengthy term of imprisonment will serve as both a strong punishment and a powerful deterrent.”

Senior United States District Judge Gustave Diamond imposed the sentence on Patricia K. Smith, 58.

According to information presented to the court, from December 2004 until July 28, 2011, Smith embezzled over $10,000,000 from her employer, Baierl Acura of Wexford. Smith used her position as controller to effect ACH transfers of large amounts of money from Baierl bank accounts to her own personal bank accounts on over 800 occasions.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Diamond stated that the defendant’s conduct was “mind boggling” as he listed some of the extravagances she purchased with the stolen funds.

Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen R. Kaufman and Lee J. Karl prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Smith.

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