Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Clayton Smart's $70 Million Cemetery Embezzlement Case Wraps Up

Clayton Smart, 71, who is from Okmulgee, Oklahoma, plead guilty to charges he embezzled some $70 million from 13,000 trust accounts at numerous cemeteries in Michigan and Tennessee which he owned.  Yesterday he was ordered to repay $30 million to his former Michigan clients and $10 million to his former Tennessee clients.  In September, Smart was sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, plus pay restitution, after pleading guilty to 39 felony fraud counts filed in Michigan.  Smart is currently in federal prison for tax evasion charges filed in a related case following the 4 year term he already spent in prison in Shelby County, Tennessee.  Smart allegedly conspired with several others, including business partner Stephen Smith, 64, of Muskogee County, Oklahoma, Carter Conrad Green, 71, of Henderson, Nevada and Smart's financial advisor, Mark Singer, 45, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Smart's house of cards crumbled in July 2006, leading to fraud charges in late April 2007.  The fleecing of customer trust accounts for pre-paid funerals and cemetery maintenance spanned a period of about 2 1/2 years, from June 1, 2004 through December 31, 2006. 

Read the story here, here, here and here.

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