Woman who stole from feds sentenced
An Upper Marlboro woman who stole $1.9 million from the federal government by double-billing for work on the expansion of the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda was sentenced Friday to 20 months in prison on one count of theft of government property.
Nicole Shantelle Smith, 38, a federal subcontractor who managed contracts for the General Services Administration, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton of the District to repay the money, which she took between July 2004 and Sept. 2007.
Smith also was ordered to serve three years of probation and perform 400 hours of community service.
Smith manipulated GSA's contractor invoice database and payment system to direct fake work orders and payments to her own company. Prosecutors said the stolen money covered payments for new homes, high-priced cars, luxury vacations to the Virgin Islands and Hawaii, designer clothes and cosmetic procedures.
A single mother, Smith said when she pleaded guilty in October that she expected to send her two teen-aged children to live with her mother in North Carolina.
"This prosecution should serve as a warning to those who think they are clever enough to defraud the government," said U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.
GSA Inspector General Brian D. Miller added, "Theft by contractors will not be tolerated."
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