Cranberry Woman Who Embezzled $10.2 Million Sentenced to More Than Six Years in Prison

Patricia K. Smith used the money she stole from Baierl Acura in Pine to fund a lavish lifestyle.

After living an

Senior United States District Judge Gustave Diamond on Wednesday sentenced Smith, of Cranberry, to 78 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

In addition, Smith was ordered to forfeit her homes and numerous items of personal property to the government and to pay restitution of more than $10.3 million.

Formerly the controller of the car dealership in Pine, Smith, 58, pleaded guilty in January to one count of wire fraud

According to court documents, the married mother of three grown children and grandmother to three electronically transferred $10.2 million from Baierl’s payroll bank account to one of her personal bank accounts on more than 800 occasions from Dec. 2004 until July 28, 2011.

To cover her crime, she altered the bank statements, prosecutors said in court documents.

"Patricia Smith victimized her employer, Baierl Acura, for no other reason than greed," said U.S. Attorney David Hickton. "The court's decision to sentence this defendant to a lengthy term of imprisonment will serve as both a strong punishment and a powerful deterrent."

Although Diamond—who called Smith’s conduct “mind boggling”—imposed the maximum sentence under federal guidelines.

According to court documents, Smith—who made a salary of $53,000 as controller of the car dealership—used the money she embezzled to fund expensive trips around the world, luxury gifts for friends, jewelry and houses for herself and family members.

She also purchased various “experiences,” including a tour of the Vatican, an on-stage escort at the Phantom of the Opera, lunch for six prepared by the Barefoot Contessa at her residence in East Hampton, New York, a trip to the Super Bowl—where she and friends occupied a hospitality suite—and dinner with actor Kevin Spacey.

She confessed to authorities last July after receiving an email from a superior questioning certain accounting activity, according to court documents filed in Pittsburgh.

The government is expected to recover about $1 million for Baierl.

In a statement following Smith's sentencing, Baierl officials said they felt justice was served in the case.

"Despite the amount of funds taken over time, there were no adverse impacts to our daily operations," the statement said. "Our business is doing well and we have adopted stronger measures to prevent such a crime from ever occurring again”

Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen R. Kaufman and Lee J. Karl prosecuted this case on behalf of the government. Hickton also commended the FBI for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Smith.

Smith has until July to report to prison.

Carol May 10, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Seriously? A sentence of 78 MONTHS for more than 800 deliberate and calculated acts of theft?? Questions: 1) How much time will she actually serve, and, 2) How can anyone reasonably expect her to make restitution of $10.3 million? Disgusting...though not nearly as vile as her incredibly toxic level of greed, perverse sense of entitlement, and depraved disregard for the law, her family, and of course, her employer. Should have been 78 YEARS, or up to 800 MONTHS!
Donald A. Shoemaker May 10, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Well lets figure it out 6 yrs for 10 million plus thas not a bad salary for the future and she can only account for 1 million.Hmmm ,thats about 1 1/2 million per yr she made while she serves her 6 yrs. If that was some poor person from the streets they would have got life.They said this is max penalty oh boo hoo ..the rich get richer and the poor get poorer..damn politics!! That women should live on skid row till that money is pd back and she does not qualify for any assisstance from our goverment let her live on her nine miilion she made.... most of us wont make that in a lifetime working... and if we do we will pay taxes on all of it!
Susan M. May 11, 2012 at 08:25 PM
I just don't understand why SOMEONE in her family or maybe or friends wouldn't think something was up, and try to help this woman..Obviously, besides being greedy, she is mentally ill! Who in the hell can take 10 million dollars in 6 years, spend it lavishly without trying to hide it? Sick, sick woman and she needs to be locked up for a lot longer than that. Maybe in a mental institution once she gets out?
Alan Frankel May 14, 2012 at 08:38 PM
How can a business allow this to happen? They must be pretty smart people, who wern't paying much attention to ther bottom line. They must make a ton of money on each vehicle sold, and must sell a ton of vehicles each year. I say shame on the Baierl family to allow this to happen and go on for so long.
DBS March 19, 2013 at 08:41 PM
The FBI did crap! If they want to prosecute more then go after the owner of the dealership! I'm sure the amount of money the government saved in investigating this crime (about 9 months from start to finish), I'm sure they can do some REAL investigative work and find a much bigger fish to catch in the heiarchy of the Baierl Family of delearships! This woman was given to them on a silver platter....they did NOTHING to investigate!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »