Oklahoma Cemetery Embezzler Sentenced To 20 Years

Monday, September 19th 2011, 5:59 pm
By: News On 6


LANSING, Michigan --  Convicted cemetery embezzler Clayton R. Smart of Okmulgee has been sentenced to up to twenty years in prison and must pay $48 million in restitution, according to Michigan's attorney general.

Bill Schuette says the sentence comes after Smart, 71, pleaded guilty to 39 felony counts.  He was accused of embezzling up to $70 million in cemetery trust funds affecting 28 Michigan cemeteries.

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According to the terms of the plea agreement, Judge Kevin Robbins of Detroit sentenced Smart to the following, which will be served concurrently:

• Four to twenty years for one count of racketeering

• Four to ten years for ten counts of embezzlement by an agent or trustee over $20,000

• Two to five years for 28 counts of failing to trust or escrow funeral or cemetery or pre-paid contract funds.

Judge Robbins also ordered Smart to pay the affected cemetery trusts $48,670,000 in restitution.

The order may be enforced by Midwest Memorial Group, the buyer of 26 of the 28 cemeteries, and the Michigan Cemetery Commissioner.

Approximately $20 million in restitution has already been recovered from Smart by the court-appointed conservator for the affected cemeteries, the Attorney General's Office, and Midwest Memorial Group.

The multi-jurisdictional plea agreement resolving Smart's case, which addresses charges filed by Michigan and the federal government, was entered formally in Michigan court on September 1, 2011.

Under the terms of the agreement, Smart will be given credit for time served since March 23, 2011, the date he went into federal custody.

Smart will serve his Michigan sentence concurrent with an additional five-year sentence for a federal conviction for tax evasion.

If Smart completes his federal sentence prior to the four year minimum in his Michigan sentence, he will return to Michigan to complete the unexpired term in the Michigan corrections system.