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Posted at 8:14 PM ET, 01/21/2011

Woman who stole from feds sentenced

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post editors

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."

By Spencer S. Hsu  | January 21, 2011; 8:14 PM ET
Categories:  Spencer S. Hsu, The District  
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Comments

20 months for stealing $1.9M! Not a very good deal for the taxpayer.

Judge Reggie B. Walton, who never held a real job, must think he is the dispenser of compassion instead of justice that fits the crime.

Obama is in favor of this form of "social justice." The question is: are a majority of Americans in favor of this attitude?


Posted by: numbersch13 | January 21, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

"Theft by contractors will not be tolerated."

Theft by Congressmen, however, will largely be ignored.

Posted by: SpeakEasy3 | January 21, 2011 10:57 PM | Report abuse

She should go away for much longer than that. That is no deterrent to the next "person". ahem.

Posted by: weblurker1 | January 22, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"Obama is in favor of this form of "social justice." The question is: are a majority of Americans in favor of this attitude?"

Posted by: numbersch13
-----------------------------------------
WTF does Obama have to do with it? I guess by your DA statement you're making reference to his commenting about Micheal Vick receiving a second chance? IRT to Ms. Smith, she should be prosocuted to the higest extent of the law! $1.9 million does not equal 20 months. People have stolen for much less and have gotten longer sentences than that. But dont make it(sh) political all the time.

Posted by: usc932000 | January 24, 2011 8:08 AM | Report abuse

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