U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider says Smith stole money from his personal political campaign fund. Schneider says Smith used the money for his own “personal whims.”
Schneider says the long-time Macomb County Prosecutor tried to get a friend and two of his assistant prosecutors to lie to the FBI as part of a cover-up.
“Smith tried to convince his associate to falsely tell the FBI that the $55,000, kicked back to Smith, was simply a loan that Smith would repay,” says Schneider.
Schneider says Smith was trying to obstruct a federal grand jury’s investigation.
Federal prosecutors say between 2012 and 2020, Smith conducted two fraud schemes to steal approximately $75,000 in cash from his political campaign fund to use for personal expenses.
Eric Smith served as Macomb County Prosecutor for 16 years, until his resignation in March.
Under a plea agreement, Smith could be sentenced to at least 15 months in federal prison.
Smith is also facing a state investigation into his use of drug forfeiture funds.
"The Michigan Attorney General’s cases in this matter, including charges against Mr. Smith, remain in active litigation and we cannot comment further at this tim," says AG office spokesman Ryan Jarvi..