Former Staff Sergeant Sentenced For Stealing Public Money Earmarked For Her Military Unit
NEW BERN - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today NANCY NICOLE SMITH, 27, of Columbia, South Carolina, was sentenced by United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan to 20 months imprisonment, restitution of $100,000, and 3 years of supervised release. SMITH previously pled guilty to theft of government money in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641, and to bulk cash smuggling in violation of Title 31, United States Code, Section 5332.
Mr. Walker stated, “SMITH abused a position of trust and betrayed the trust of the American taxpayers, including her fellow service members, when she stole $100,000 of U.S. funds earmarked for her military unit. The sentence imposed today reflects the seriousness of her offense and should serve as a deterrent for others.”
According to the Criminal Information filed on August 2, 2012, and information in the public record, SMITH was a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army assigned to a Personnel Service Battalion attached to the 7th Special Forces Group based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. From September 2009 through February 10, 2010, SMITH was deployed to Afghanistan with the 7th Special Forces Group. While deployed, SMITH was a disbursing agent responsible for, among other things, disbursing money and reconciling the books and records. On at least two occasions, SMITH falsified documents in order to steal $100,000 from funds earmarked for her military unit. She thereafter brought the stolen monies, which at the time were concealed in her backpack, back to the United States.
"Nancy Smith stole money intended for urgent projects in a combat zone, betraying her oath and our armed forces. Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) and our investigative partners are making it clear that those who defraud the U.S. government will be brought to justice," said Special Inspector General John F. Sopko.
"We are very pleased with today's sentencing," said Frank Robey, Director of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit. "Stealing money during a time of war that is intended for such an important cause is reprehensible and we will continue to do everything in our investigative power to bring those responsible to justice."
“By stealing money from her U.S. Army unit while deployed to a combat theater, (former) Staff Sergeant Smith betrayed her position of trust for personal greed and deprived her fellow soldiers of much needed funds. The Defense Criminal Investigative Service continues our aggressive efforts to root out corruption and fraud impacting our Warfighters, and recover stolen taxpayer dollars,” commented Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin, DCIS Southeast Field Office.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, and the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command. Assistant United States Attorney Banumathi Rangarajan is serving as prosecutor for the government.