Ex-controller who stole $10 million from Pa. Acura store sentenced to 6.5 years
A woman who stole $10.3 million from the Pittsburgh-area Acura dealership where she worked was sentenced today to 6½ years in prison.
Patricia K. Smith, former controller of Baierl Acura in Pine, Pa., transferred money from the dealership’s accounts to her own more than 800 times from 2004 through 2011. She used the money for travel, gambling, gifts to friends and house purchases for herself and family members, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Smith, 58, pleaded guilty in federal court to wire fraud in March.
U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond ordered Smith to repay Baierl $10.3 million, forfeit a list of items to the government, and spend three years on probation after her term ends, the Post-Gazette reported.
Smith said at her sentencing that she has always thought of herself “as a horrible daughter, mother, wife and friend,” and spent the embezzled money on friends and family because she wanted to win their love and “see what happiness really looked like,” the Post-Gazette reported.
Baierl Automotive issued a statement after the hearing saying Smith’s actions had no adverse impact on the dealership’s daily operations, according to the Post-Gazette.
“Our business is doing well and we have adopted stronger measures to prevent such a crime from ever occurring again,” the dealership said.
You can reach Ellen Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.