UPDATE: Former head of Marie Detty indicted - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Former head of Marie Detty indicted

Lawton_UPDATE_The former chair of the Marie Detty Board says she is not surprised at the indictment of former director Paul Smith.  However, Dr. Joy Snell does say she's disappointed in him.  She was Chairman of the Board when the agency came under fire for financial irregularities.  Smith is indicted on 27 counts by a federal grand jury in Oklahoma City.  Paul Smith is accused of theft and embezzlement of some $123,000.

Snell told 7News, by telephone, that Smith's actions are deplorable, and she says she is disappointed that he would do what he did to such an important service in the community.  She says that because Marie Detty's Board of Directors is a group of volunteers, they did not have the authority to investigate bank accounts. 

Snell says that when the board asked Smith about finances, he gave them plausible answers to all of their questions.  She says the current director of Marie Detty, Dianne Owens, has done a spectacular job and is proud that the agency has made it through such a rough time.

Smith served as the director of Marie Detty Youth and Family Services Center that administered a Head Start Program with a federal grant from September of 1989 to August of 2004.   

The counts include theft and embezzlement from the non-profit agency's employee benefit profit-sharing plan, converting funds for his own personal use.

Smith is also indicted for a scheme to defraud and mail fraud in a contract where Marie Detty sent thousands of dollars in payments to a ghost company called Paradigm Associates.  Court documents say Paradigm is a company Smith set up to advise, consult and direct management for Marie Detty, but in this scheme, it had no employees, no business location and provided no such services.

Other counts involve providing false information to federal investigators.

If found guilty of the crimes, Smith would face up to 30 years in prison, and $750,000 in fines.

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