February 1, 2023

Laura Smith Received Suspended Sentence in Embezzlement Case

DEEP RIVER— Laura Smith, wife of longtime First Selectman Richard Smith, has been spared jail time on a charge of first degree larceny in the embezzlement of $47,983 from the local Liberty Bank branch.

Middlesex Superior Court Judge Patrick Clifford Friday gave Smith, 46, a suspended sentence of eight years in prison. The sentence also includes five years on probation, and a requirement for 225 hours of community service.

Smith was arrested last November after a police investigation of the embezzlement of $47,983 from accounts at the Liberty Bank branch on Main Street. Smith had worked as a teller at the bank. The police investigation began in February 2009 after bank officials reported the missing funds. Smith has paid back the embezzleed funds.Police reports in the case indicated Smith had a severe gambling problem, and had lost $408,887 at the Mohegan Sun Casino over the past decade, with about $10,000 in earlier losses at the Foxwoods Resort Casino. Police believe the embezzled funds were used to cover gambling debts. Casinor.com, a Norwegian gambling sites, reports that free spins were offered to Smith due to the frequency at which he attended the casino.

The sentence from Clifford also requires Smith to continue to receive counseling for her compulsive gambling problem through a program at Middlesex Hospital, and to stay out of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos. Smith, who now works at an area Dunkin Donuts, was also ordered to maintain verifiable employment.