News and Press Releases

Credit Manager Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement of Over 1/2 Million Dollars

December 3, 2012

Contact Person: Beth Drake (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Michael Shane Smith, age 40, of Florence, SC, has entered a guilty plea in federal court in Florence, to wire fraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343.  United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Smith worked as the credit manager for Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., in Florence, South Carolina.  Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., has branch offices throughout the country and Smith was responsible for preparing daily invoices of money and checks received from the branches, then making bank deposits.  Smith withdrew cash from deposits received from one of the branch offices and substituted checks taken from deposits of another branch office.  Smith then altered the deposit tickets when making deposits to the banks. Between January 2006 and August 2011, Smith embezzled at least $575,572.00.  At the time that Smith was caught, he had checks totaling over $1,000,000.00 hidden in his office. 

Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Smith can receive is a fine of $250,000.00 and/or imprisonment for 20 years, plus a special assessment of $100.00.

The case was investigated by agents of the United States Secret Service.  Assistant United States Attorney William E. Day, II of the Florence office handled the case.

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