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Press Release

Former Wealth Manager Sentenced for Wire Fraud, Identity Theft, and Money Laundering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Leon A. Smith, a former wealth manager for professional athletes, was sentenced today to 51 months in federal prison for stealing nearly $1.3 million from his clients and misusing their identities. 

U.S. District Court Judge Joseph M. Hood sentenced 45-year-old Smith, now of Batesville, Indiana, for wire fraud, identity theft, and money laundering.  In addition to the 51-month term of incarceration, Judge Hood ordered Smith to forfeit $1,298,506.82, the approximate gross proceeds of his offense. 

During two separate guilty plea hearings in November and December 2017, Smith admitted that he had misused his clients’ personal and financial information to transfer their funds into his own bank accounts and to open unauthorized credit cards and other lines of credit in their names.  Smith also admitted that he concealed his activities from his clients by changing passwords to restrict his clients’ access to their accounts and by fabricating expense reports that used fake expenses to explain the low account balances that resulted from his thefts.  Smith admitted that this scheme began in September 2011 and continued through January 2015. 

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Christopher Altemus, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-CI; Amy Hess, Special Agent in Charge, FBI; and Lawrence Weathers, Chief of the Lexington Police Department, jointly announced the sentence.  The investigation was conducted by the IRS-CI, the FBI, and the Lexington Police Department.  The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew T. Boone and Kathryn M. Anderson. 

Updated April 9, 2018

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft