Clayton Smart embezzlement case wraps up in Memphis

Clayton Smart
Clayton Smart

(WMC-TV) - Monday marked the end of a long road for the man who stole millions in a pre-paid funeral and cemetery scam that claimed victims all over the Mid-South.

With just a few words before a criminal court judge, attorneys for Clayton Smart wrapped up the embezzlement case that cost his victims millions.

"He's through with the system essentially in terms of court appearances," Defense Attorney Lee Gerald said. "He has pled guilty in federal to a tax evasion charge, which he received a five year sentence on. He pled guilty to multiple counts in Michigan, in which he received a sentence of four to twenty on."

Smart pleaded guilty to embezzling millions from trust fund customers who prepaid for funerals and cemetery maintenance in Michigan and Tennessee.

He has already spent close to four years behind bars at the criminal justice complex and has about four more years of incarceration to go.

Gerald said Monday's criminal court proceeding was aimed at making sure the rest of Smart's time will be served in federal custody.

"We anticipate that he will be in a minimum security, federal facility," he said. "Something like a camp."

Smart's attorneys arranged a wavier granting him permission to not appear for Monday's criminal court appearance. Gerald said his client has major regrets regarding the crimes he committed and the people he hurt in the process

"He is remorseful about everything that has happened," Gerald said. "He's apologetic to the victims, and he is certainly glad that this case is now resolved."

For his crimes, Smart has been ordered to pay back more than $30 million in Michigan and more than $10 million in Tennessee. Meanwhile he's facing other large judgments and civil lawsuits from victims that will basically claim everything he owns.

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