Former Byrnes Mill Police Chief Indicted on Wire Fraud Charges
St. Louis, MO – Michael Thomas Smith, 47, of Cedar Hill, MO, the former Chief of Police of Byrnes Mill, Missouri, was indicted on four counts of wire fraud as part of a scheme to steal from criminal suspects and defraud Byrnes Mill and Jefferson County of his honest services.
According to the Indictment, Smith took thousands of dollars from three different suspects during 2013 and 2014 and failed to note the seized funds in police reports or in the departmental evidence system. The Byrnes Mill police department had no records of the funds when the suspects subsequently asked about them. In furtherance of the scheme, Smith is alleged to have sent four interstate wire transmissions to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in West Virginia.
Smith surrendered to authorities this morning and was released on bond. If convicted, Smith faces up to 20 years imprisonment on each of four counts of wire fraud, a $250,000 fine or both. Restitution for the victims will also be sought.
The case was investigated by the FBI – St. Louis Division with assistance from the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.