Sunday, September 27, 2020

Maryland Fisherman Headed for the Hoosegow

Prison for York County man who 'plundered' sport-fishing club in Maryland
Sarah Salt

A Windsor Township man has been sentenced to prison for embezzling more than $130,000 from the nonprofit Maryland sport-fishing association where he was executive director.

David Jeffrey Smith, 40, of the 1600 block of Rosebrook Drive, appeared in Maryland's Anne Arundel Circuit Court on Thursday and was sentenced to five years in prison, with all but 18 months of that sentence suspended, according to court records.

He also was sentenced to five years' probation and ordered to pay $136,200 in restitution to the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association, records state.

"He's going to have to live with what he's done," said Maryland attorney Stephen Shechtel, who represents the MSSA and who was a member for more than 30 years. "He put us out of business. … There's nothing left to save."

Gale Force Twins
Despite the MSSA not being in existence anymore, it still has significant debts. The organization had about 8,000 members, the attorney said.

"It owes so much money to so many people and so many entities," Shechtel said. "There's almost a hundred grand just in bank loans."

If Smith fails to pay restitution, he will be in violation of his probation and could be jailed for the balance of his prison term, the attorney said.

For years, MSSA hosted a hugely popular spring trophy season tournament, with the largest Striped Bass (or as we call them in Maryland, Rockfish) brought back winning pretty significant prize money.

One of my fishing friends on Facebook commented that by going belly up, MSSA did more for Striped Bass than they ever did as a conservation organization.

Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Damn It, Janet ready and willing at The Other McCain.

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