Westside Man Arrested on Money Laundering Charges Related to Alleged Embezzlement of Nearly $370,000 from Girl Scouts
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 18, 2013|
LOS ANGELES—A Marina Del Rey man is expected to make his first court appearance this afternoon after being arrested yesterday by FBI agents on federal charges of laundering $50,000 of approximately $370,000 he allegedly embezzled from the Girl Scouts.
Channing Smack, 51, who was a senior property manager of the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA), was arrested yesterday without incident. Smack is named in a criminal complaint that was also filed late yesterday charging him with money laundering, a federal offense that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
Smack was arrested after being interviewed by FBI agents about the alleged embezzlement and one day after he withdrew $64,500 from accounts believed to contain proceeds of the scheme.
According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, Smack was responsible for managing the GSGLA’s 22 properties in the Los Angeles area. Over the past year and a half, Smack approved invoices for services purportedly provided by a firm called ZB Land Maintenance & Engineering, which is registered under the name of Smack’s deceased brother. Between August 2012 and October 2013, allegedly at Smack’s direction, GSGLA issued 23 checks to ZB that totaled $368,278. The evidence uncovered by the FBI shows that most of the checks to ZB were then deposited into one of two bank accounts opened under the names of the company and Smack’s deceased brother. According to the affidavit, bank surveillance photographs show an individual who looks like Smack either depositing or withdrawing funds into or from these bank accounts.
This past Monday, federal prosecutors served federal seizure warrants on three bank accounts believed to contain embezzled funds—the ZB account and two personal accounts in Smack’s name into which he is believed to have transferred funds derived from the GSGLA checks.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.
The criminal complaint against Smack is the product of an ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.