2018-04-15 / News

DOJ puts 20-year lien on Metamora house

BY ANDREW DIETDERICH
810-452-2609 • adietderich@mihomepaper.com

DETROIT — The U.S. Dept. of Justice placed a 20-year lien on a Metamora house in late March after its owner was sent to prison and ordered to pay more than $534,000 in restitution to one of Michigan’s largest unions.

Glenn Robert Smith, 53, was sentenced Feb. 6 to 15 months in prison and two years of supervised release for embezzling more than $534,000 from the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (MRCC).

Smith had been comptroller for MRCC.

According to its website, MRCC “represents 14,000 carpenters and millwrights across the state of Michigan. Our member carpenters help build diverse projects, large and small, residential and commercial. Union millwrights work with precision machinery, installing and maintaining everything from conveyor systems to turbines and generators. Our members work closely with contractor partners across the state.”

Smith was charged July 1, 2015 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for embezzlement and theft of union assets.

According to the information felony complaint filed in court by U.S. attorneys, Smith “did engage in an ongoing scheme where he embezzled, stole and unlawfully and willfully abstracted and convert to (his) own use or the use of another the moneys, funds, securities, property, or other assets of said labor organization in the approximate amount of $499,087…”

The embezzlement took place from February 2010 through 2013, the complaint states.

Further, it says Smith took the money “by embezzling union members cash payments, writing unauthorized union checks for his personal benefit, making fraudulent charges with the union’s credit card, hiring an individual without the knowledge or authorization of the union, and issuing himself unauthorized salary reimbursement all drawn on said union’s bank account, and used the funds for his own personal benefit or the benefit of another.”

The charge followed a joint investigation by the OLMS Detroit-Milwaukee District Office, the Dept. of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, and the IRS.

Smith was arraigned May 19, 2017.

On Oct. 3, he pleaded guilty to embezzlement of union funds and he was sentenced Feb. 6.

A lien was filed March 30 with the Lapeer County Register of Deeds for a property at 4405 Phillips Rd. in Metamora. It’s unclear if the Metamora house served as Smith’s primary residence.

According to Trulia.com, the house was listed at $349,900 on April 11, 2015.

The price was reduced to $329,000 on May 21, 2015 and as of Sept. 8, 2015 was no longer listed.

The DOJ lien was filed in Lapeer County under what is known as the Anti- Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, “Title II of the Act — the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA) — changes the manner in which restitution liens are enforced, most notably giving restitution liens the same status as perfected Internal Revenue Service (IRS) liens and allowing the liens to be enforceable against property otherwise exempt under state law.”

The Lapeer County lien claims an amount of $534,197 is owed in fines and/or restitution.

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