On Tuesday evening, 12/9/2014, members of the Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff Criminal Investigative Unit and Support Services Unit arrested Patricia Ann Smith, 67, of Chester for a large scale theft scheme.
A several month joint investigation between the Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Sheriff resulted in State’s Attorney Lance Richardson filing criminal charges against Smith. Authorities report that the theft spanned a period of 7 years in which Smith was employed as the officer manager for a local business. Smith is alleged to have stolen in excess of $350,000.00 from the business.
State’s Attorney Lance Richardson would not elaborate on the specific evidence that was gathered against Smith during the investigation but did say, “It was a very elaborate theft scheme. This was a very thorough and in-depth investigation that has resulted in the formal charges against Mrs. Smith. At this point we do not believe any other individuals were involved in the theft; however, the investigation continues”.
Mrs. Smith was served a Circuit Court arrest warrant charging her with (3) counts of theft scheme over $500, (6) counts of theft scheme of $10,000 to less than $100,000 and (1) count of Theft scheme in excess of $100,000. State’s Attorney Chief of Staff, Rob Penny, explained “Each one of these charges that Mrs. Smith is facing is a felony. Prior to October 1, 2009 the theft statutes involved committing theft in excess of $500. Effective October 1, 2009 the criminal offenses related to theft are basically broken into levels, with theft in excess of $100,000 being the most serious of the theft charges.”
Smith was immediately transported to the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center where she is being held without bond pending a Circuit Court appearance.
On May 26, 2015 Smith appeared in the Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court and entered a guilty plea to theft in excess of $100,000. On July 7, 2015 Smith was sentenced to 15 years in prison. She was ordered to serve 18 months of that sentence with 13 and a half years suspended. Smith will serve her jail time at the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center. Upon release she will be placed on 5 years of supervised probation. A restitution hearing, to determine the amount of money that Smith will be required to repay the victim, is set for September, 2015. The State contends that Smith stole in excess of $375,000 from the victim’s company.
Lance Richardson, State’s Attorney, prosecuted this case.