Former union official gets three years for $1M embezzlement

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – A former official with a longshoreman’s union in Norfolk has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for embezzling $1 million from the organization.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Thursday that 49-year-old Robert Smith III fueled his drug habit, paid bills and fixed his home with the money. He pleaded guilty in October.

Smith was the former financial secretary for the local chapter of the International Longshoremen’s Association. Prosecutors say for a decade, he deposited new member initiation fees and member dues into the union bank account and then spent the money on himself.

Smith will have to pay restitution and spend another three years under supervised release when he gets out.

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