Freep: Feds Accuse Ex-Conservancy CFO William Smith of Trying to Sell Yacht, Condo in Mexico, Other Properties

June 24, 2024, 9:11 PM

CFO William Smith

The feds are trying to recoup money they've accused William A. Smith, ex-CFO of the Detroit RIverfront Conservancy, of embezzling. He's charged with taking $40 million over 12 years. 

The Detroit Free Press reports that U.S. District Judge Linda Parker issued a restraining order Monday freezing up to $39 million in assets after federal authorities accused Smith of selling or trying to sell assets including a condo in Mexico, a yacht, and multiple properties in Georgia, Texas and Michigan. 

"The Government has a strong likelihood of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that (Smith) is alienating or disposing of property, and intends to alienate or dispose of property ... including transferring assets to family members or his corporate entities for nominal amounts, and attempting to sell real estate and his yacht to third parties," Parker's order states, according to the Freep. "There is a strong likelihood of irreparable injury to Smith’s victims, including the Conservancy, Comerica Bank, and the Conservancy’s donors and financial partners, unless this order is issued."

FBI agent Timothy Hoff wrote in an affidavit unsealed Monday, according to Freep reporters Tresa Baldas and Violet Ikonomova:  

"It appears that Smith has used the millions he defrauded from the Conservancy and Citizens Bank — along with a more limited amount of his own funds — to amass and/or improve a substantial amount of real property in the states of Michigan (including Northville, Redford, Detroit and Idlewild), Texas, Georgia, and the country of Mexico.

He added: "His efforts are facilitated by numerous LLCs under his direction and control."


Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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