A Marina del Rey man pleaded
guilty today to laundering $50,000 out of nearly $370,000 he
embezzled from the Girl Scouts while employed by the organization.
Channing Smack was the senior property manager of the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. He was responsible for overseeing the organization's 22 properties in the area and hiring outside contractors to perform maintenance and repairs to the various properties.
Smack admitted to approving invoices for services purportedly provided by a firm called ZB Land Maintenance & Engineering, which is registered under the name of his deceased brother. Smack, 51, acknowledged issuing checks to ZB that totaled $368,278, according to his plea agreement.
Most of the checks to ZB were deposited into one of two bank accounts opened under the names of the company and the defendant's late brother, prosecutors said.
Smack pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II to one count each of mail fraud and money laundering. Sentencing is set for May 27.
Smack was arrested Dec. 18, shortly after he withdrew $64,500 from accounts believed to contain proceeds of the scheme. He was fired by the Girl Scouts just prior to his arrest, GSGLA spokeswoman Carol Dedrich said.
She said the investigation began when Girl Scout officials “discovered some irregularities” in Smack's work and turned the information over to federal prosecutors in Los Angeles.
--City News Service