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East Cleveland employee pleads guilty for lying to authorities about being robbed

Cleveland Federal Courthouse 1
Posted at 12:08 PM, Dec 16, 2020

CLEVELAND — An East Cleveland Municipal Court worker who was under investigation by the FBI for lying to authorities about being robbed of city money in 2018 has pleaded guilty to a charge in federal court.

The woman, Laura Smith, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to law enforcement, federal court records state.

Investigators said Laura Smith worked as an administrative assistant to Municipal Court Judge William Dawson.

Smith was accused of lying to agents investigating her claims that she was robbed outside an East Cleveland bank in September 2018.

According to a police report, Smith said she was robbed by an unknown man at gunpoint. Investigators say she was getting out of her jeep to make a deposit for the court when the robber took three envelopes containing nearly $18,000 is cash and checks.

But East Cleveland Police say Smith's story didn't match what investigators saw on surveillance video. Because she worked for the court, the case was turned over to the FBI.

East Cleveland Municipal Court didn't comment when asked about Smith's employment status.

Smith will be sentenced on April 1, 2021.

RELATED: East Cleveland employee indicted for allegedly lying to FBI about being robbed

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