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Ex-Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith Gets 21 Months In Prison

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — Former Macomb County prosecutor Eric Smith was sentenced Wednesday to 21 months in prison for obstructing justice during an investigation of how he spent campaign donations.

His punishment matched the recommendation of federal prosecutors.

Smith, a Democrat, was the elected county prosecutor until quitting in disgrace in 2020 after 15 years, tarnished by state and federal investigations.

Eric Smith | Credit: Macomb County Prosecutor's Office.

"Motivated by greed, he used his position to line his pockets with money that did not belong to him, and worse yet, to force others to lie to law enforcement for him," Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Moran said in a court filing.

Between 2012 and 2020, Smith conducted two fraud schemes to steal approximately $75,000 in cash from his political campaign for personal expenses, federal investigators said.

He admitted that he attempted to get three people, including two assistant prosecutors, to make false statements about his use of campaign cash. Smith pleaded guilty a year ago.

"I acted alone. I acted for my own benefit," he said at the time.

Separately, Smith is charged in state court with embezzlement and other crimes related to a different scheme to use money from drunken driving cases, bad check cases and assets forfeited in drug crimes. He was ordered to trial last week.

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