(01/23/2009)
Two members of a Jackson County family, accused of defrauding $9 million from the federal government, pleaded guilty yesterday to fraud charges.

Five members of the Smith family are accused of using money from a family owned business for personal purchases.

Some of the principals have been officers in a family oil and gas pipeline company well-known to the region - Carl E. Smith Inc.

They diverted money from the company for personal use.

Donald Smith pleaded guilty to tax evasion from 1998 through 2001.

His wife, Judith Smith, pleaded guilty to two counts of filing fraudulent returns in 2000 and 2001.

Their sentencing is set for April 29th at 1:30 before U.S. District Judge Copenhaver.

Donald's brother, Eddie Burl Smith and his son, Eddie Michael Smith, will be sentenced next Wednesday in Charleston.

The court case accuses some of the Smith family members of using the $9 million to lead what was described as a luxurious life-style.


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