Today the VA Pilot published the following piece about Jamie Smith, the notorious Virginia Beach con man who swindled $12.5 million from a Pennsylvania couple in 2007.
Last summer, a Federal jury found fraud against Smith and his company (SCG International) and assessed $9.85 million in compensatory and punitive damages. I was the plaintiffs’ lawyer. Since the judgment, we have attempted to collect against Smith, who has spent, wasted or hid millions through SCG. Meanwhile, Smith has fled overseas, after transferring all his assets to various shell companies and family members.
The amazing part is that Smith – who has the same military credentials as your average Cub Scout – continued for a year after the fraud verdict to contract with the Air Force, who employed these pseudo-soldiers as “consultants.”
This is despite the fact that our 2011 verdict was in the news in Hampton Roads and could be discovered in two seconds by Googling “Jamie Smith” or “SCG International.”
All told, the Air Force has thrown $1.7 million in the past year at Smith’s company, SCG, to teach them about “counter-terrorism.” (Nothing like using a million-dollar con man to teach you how to fight crime).
Of course, the bulk of that money didn’t go to trainers, equipment or legitimate costs. Instead, it was used as a slush fund to support Smith, his wife, his brother and other family members, who collected $500,000 in six months in “bonuses” or paychecks for “no-show” jobs at SCG. The whole SCG training program — like everything else about Jamie Smith — was a fraud.
Except this victim was the U.S. taxpayer.
Apparently this is “business as usual” at the Pentagon, where money is thrown away at fly-by-night contractors in the name of “counter-terrorism.” (Smith’s alibi to the Air Force that the 2011 verdict applied to ”a different company with the same name” is pathetic. In the civilian world, a contracting officer who fell for that would be fired).
As the Pilot reported, Smith’s family sold off their household goods last week and left town, leaving an armored car in their driveway. Smith’s large house in Virginia Beach now stands deserted behind a security fence, a fitting memorial to the SCG charade.