A property manager in the US was sentenced to almost two years in prison this week after pilfering nearly $370,000 from the Girl Scouts.
The Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA), better known for their door-to-door cookie-sale fundraisers, were hoodwinked by Channing Smack, 51, who pleaded guilty in January to mail fraud and money laundering.
Mr Smack was sentenced by the district judge to 20 months, and in addition to the prison term, the judge ordered him to pay $368,278 in restitution.
As senior property manager, Smack was responsible for managing the GSGLA’s 22 properties in the Los Angeles area.
Smack approved payments for maintenance services purportedly provided by a firm called ZB Land Maintenance & Engineering, which was registered under the name of Mr Smack’s deceased brother.
Between August 2012 and October 2013, GSGLA issued 23 checks to ZB that totalled $368,278.
The evidence uncovered during an investigation by the FBI showed that most of the checks to ZB were then deposited into one of two bank accounts opened under the names of the company and Mr Smack’s deceased brother. He used these funds to pay for personal expenses.
"The offense conducted in this matter is serious," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing position paper filed with the court that agreed with a pre-sentence report that noted, “this is a significant amount to the victim, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, a not-for-profit organisation that strives to empower young girls."