MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – Fred Smith was put in charge of his mother’s affairs and ended up in the Macomb County jail because he was unwilling to come clean about what happened to his mother’s money -- around $6 million is missing.
Smith, 73, served as trustee for seven years and four years ago the court asked for the accounting. A Macomb County judge fined Smith, then doubled the fine, and then exasperated sent him to jail.
Smith sat in jail for 79 days for civil contempt. Friday he was granted a request for a release from jail. Now, he has freedom from jail but he has to make an accounting of where his mother’s money went.
According to his mother’s appointed guardian, George Heitmanis, Smith allegedly bought and then lost a motorcycle dealership and purchased cars and homes with his mother’s money. Heitman believes Smith made mystery purchases in five states: Florida, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia and California.
Smith’s attorney, Lisa Walinske, said that Smith can comply with the court’s orders easier now that he’s out of jail.
Heitmanis said he will be pleasantly surprised if Smith finishes the accounting in the 90 days he has to complete it.