Senior United States District Judge Gustave Diamond on Wednesday sentenced Smith, of Cranberry, to 78 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
In addition, Smith was ordered to forfeit her homes and numerous items of personal property to the government and to pay restitution of more than $10.3 million.
Formerly the controller of the Baierl Acura car dealership in Pine Township, Smith, 58, pleaded guilty in January to one count of wire fraud
According to court documents, the married mother of three grown children and grandmother to three electronically transferred $10.2 million from Baierl’s payroll bank account to one of her personal bank accounts on more than 800 occasions from Dec. 2004 until July 28, 2011.
To cover her crime, she altered the bank statements, prosecutors said in court documents.
"Patricia Smith victimized her employer, Baierl Acura, for no other reason than greed," said U.S. Attorney David Hickton. "The court's decision to sentence this defendant to a lengthy term of imprisonment will serve as both a strong punishment and a powerful deterrent."
Although Smith’s lawyer had argued her client should served a lesser sentence of 41 to 51 months in prison because of her cooperation with the prosecution, Diamond—who called Smith’s conduct “mind boggling”—imposed the maximum sentence under federal guidelines.
According to court documents, Smith—who made a salary of $53,000 as controller of the car dealership—used the money she embezzled to fund expensive trips around the world, luxury gifts for friends, jewelry and houses for herself and family members.
She also purchased various “experiences,” including a tour of the Vatican, an on-stage escort at the Phantom of the Opera, lunch for six prepared by the Barefoot Contessa at her residence in East Hampton, New York, a trip to the Super Bowl—where she and friends occupied a hospitality suite—and dinner with actor Kevin Spacey.
She confessed to authorities last July after receiving an email from a superior questioning certain accounting activity, according to court documents filed in Pittsburgh.
The government is expected to recover about $1 million for Baierl.
Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen R. Kaufman and Lee J. Karl prosecuted this case on behalf of the government. Hickton also commended the FBI for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Smith.