Prattville Man Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Property
Montgomery, Alabama - Leura G. Canary, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, announced today the guilty plea of a Prattville man on charges of stealing more than $450,000 in government money.
William Roland Smith, age 60, pled guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Charles S. Coody to a one-count felony information charging him with theft of government property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.
According to the Information and the plea agreement, William Smith’s father, Robert Smith, was a retired federal employee residing in Montgomery, Alabama. Robert received monthly pension benefits from the United States (the "pension payments"), which the government directly deposited into a joint bank account held by Robert and William.
Robert died on or about June 16, 1994. Upon his death, neither Robert nor his heirs were entitled to any further pension payments.
After Robert died, from July 1994 through August 2006, William Smith continued to receive and spend the pension payments, in the total amount of approximately $452,635.50. William Smith did not advise the government that Robert had died. To the contrary, in November 1994, William Smith signed and sent to the government a change of address form, in which William Smith represented that Robert (who had already died) could not sign the form because of "Stroke" and "Alzheimer's Disease."
When he is sentenced this fall by United States District Judge Myron H. Thompson, Smith faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 year imprisonment, a term of supervised release of no more than 3 years, a fine of up to $250,000 (or, if greater, twice the loss to the government), and an order of restitution. Judge Coody released Smith on a $25,000 unsecured bond pending sentencing.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Office of Inspector General of the United States Office of Personnel Management and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew O. Schiff.
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