Windsor Twp. man owes more than $100K to anglers' group, faces felony charges
A Windsor Township man was ordered this month to pay more than $100,000 to a sport-fishing association he allegedly defrauded while he served as its executive director.
David Jeffrey Smith, 39, of the 1600 block of Rosebrook Drive, has to pay $136,234.50 to the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association in Essex, according to association attorney Stephen Shechtel.
The judgment was handed down following a one-day trial in Anne Arundel County Court on Friday, Sept. 13.
Additionally, Smith was indicted on charges in Maryland related to the alleged theft. He was arrested the same day the civil trial concluded, according to court records, which state he is currently free on his own recognizance.
He was indicted on two felony charges: theft scheme of more than $100,000 and theft scheme of $25,000 to $100,000. The charges were filed by Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Department.
A message left for an attorney representing Smith in his criminal case was not immediately returned Thursday, Sept. 19.
According to a report from the Capital Gazette, Smith represented himself in the civil trial. He could not be reached Thursday for comment.
Schechtel said the association, which promoted fishing and education for anglers, couldn't sponsor fishing tournaments or qualify for insurance for those tournaments after the alleged theft.
“The MSSA is out of business," he said.
He said the association officially incorporated in 1981, but it existed for years before that as an anglers' club.
Background: The MSSA hired Smith as associate executive director in 2008, then promoted him to executive director the following year.
"In 2016, Smith informed the Board of Directors that the MSSA was experiencing financial difficulties," the lawsuit states. "Smith withheld from the Board of Directors that MSSA's liabilities had increased by 1,765% (not a typo) and that its total equity had declined by 53%."
In 2017, Smith withheld from the board that liabilities had increased another 136% and that the association's total equity had declined another 53%, according to the suit.
Smith took out bank loans and a line of credit in the MSSA's name and used the money for his personal benefit, according to the lawsuit.
He also made personal charges on an MSSA credit card issued to him, the suit alleged.
Smith is due back in Anne Arundel Circuit Court in November for his criminal case.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.