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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Union Official Sentenced to Prison for Stealing Over $1 Million

NORFOLK, Va. – Robert Smith, III, 49, of Virginia Beach, was sentenced today to 41 months in prison for a decade-long scheme to defraud the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 970 of over $1 million. Smith was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution to the union in the amount of $1,072,669.10.

Smith pleaded guilty on Oct. 14, 2016. According to court documents, Smith served as the Business Agent and the Financial Secretary for ILA, Local 970. Local 970 is a union whose members provide qualified labor to the Port of Virginia. From March 2006 through April 2016, Smith devised a scheme to embezzle funds from the Local 970 bank accounts. Specifically, Smith deposited new member initiation fees and member dues received from local employers into an ILA Bank account, and then used those funds for his own personal purposes. Over a period of 10 years, Smith stole approximately $1,072,669.10 of union funds. withdrew over $700,000 in cash to support his drug habit, paid his personal credit card bills, and used the funds to purchase gas, food, clothing, shoes, toys, entertainment, and home improvement supplies.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Robin Blake, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Washington, D.C. Regional Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; and Mark Wheeler, District Director of the Washington District Office of the Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa E. O’Boyle prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:16-cr-134.

Financial Fraud
Updated February 2, 2017