Vermont Woman Receives 24-Month Prison Sentence for Mail/Wire Fraud

Thursday, October 6, 2011
Office Affiliation: 
Contact: U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Vermont
Phone: (802) 951-6725


The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Donah Smith, 51, of Rutland, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Rutland to 24 months of imprisonment following her guilty plea to an indictment charging her with mail and wire fraud. Chief U.S. District Judge Christina C. Reiss also ordered that Smith serve a three-year term of supervised release following completion of her prison term and pay restitution in the amount of $41,225.18. Smith was ordered to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on December 6 to begin serving her sentence.

On March 23, 2011, a federal grand jury in Rutland returned a two-count mail and wire fraud indictment against Smith. According to the indictment, Smith was employed by ARC-Rutland, a non-profit organization which assists persons with mental and developmental disabilities in managing their financial affairs. In that capacity, Smith had access to bank accounts and checkbooks of ARC clients.

The indictment charged that between 2008 and May 2010, Smith embezzled thousands of dollars from ARC clients by using money from client bank accounts to pay her personal expenses. In furtherance of the scheme, Smith used the U.S. mails and the Internet to make payments to her creditors with fraud proceeds. ARC uncovered the fraud in May 2010 during an internal audit and promptly fired Smith.

This case was investigated by the Burlington office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General.

Smith is represented by Assistant Federal Defender Natasha Sen. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.