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York County man stole $100,000 from Maryland-based sportfishing company, lawsuit claims

MARYLAND — A Maryland-based sport-fishing company filed a lawsuit against a York County man, accusing him of stealing more than $100,000 from the organization while serving as its executive director, court documents show.

David J. Smith, of Windsor Township, was sued on June 5 in Anne Arundel County Court by the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association, which is based in Essex.

The news was first reported by the Capital Gazette and picked up by the York Dispatch.

The lawsuit accuses Smith of plundering the MSSA, which described the loss of $100,000 in funds as “extremely crippling” for the organization.

An investigation into the loss of funds by the Anne Arundel County Police Department is ongoing, according to the York Dispatch.

Smith was hired by the MSSA in 2008 and promoted to executive director the following year.

In 2016, the suit says, Smith told the organization’s Board of Directors that the MSSA was experiencing financial difficulties, but withheld from the Board that the MSSA’s liabilities had increased by more than 1,700 percent and its total equity had declined by 53 percent.

One year later, the lawsuit states, Smith again withheld an increase in liabilities, this time an increase of 136 percent, while the organization’s total equity had again declined by 53 percent.

Smith allegedly took out bank loans and a line of credit in the MSSA’s name, and used the money for his own benefit, the lawsuit states. He is also accused of putting personal charges on the MSSA’s credit card, according to the lawsuit.

The MSSA was evicted from its headquarters for failure to pay the rent in January, according to the lawsuit. Smith had allegedly withheld from the Board of Directors that he had not paid any rent for several months.

Smith also did not pay the winners of the MSSA’s 2017 fall fishing tournament, the lawsuit states.

The MSSA eventually fired Smith, but he kept the association’s laptop and a cellphone that had been assigned to him, ignoring demands from the MSSA for him to return them, the lawsuit says.