Bradbury Township


Mille Lacs County, Minnesota

Mille Lacs News

Since 4/18/07

Academy director arraigned in federal court


Smith Arraigned
Paul Smith Indicted
Smith Convicted
Smith Sentenced
Embezzler sentenced
Smith Letter



October 21, 2008

Superseding Indictment May 20,2009

Instructions to the Jury





from the Mille Lacs Messenger

Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 12:00 am

Paul Smith, the executive director of Mille Lacs Academy, was arraigned in federal court in Oklahoma June 8 on charges of embezzlement, mail fraud and making false statements to federal investigators.

He pleaded not guilty.

The charges stem from events that occurred from 2001 to 2004, when Smith was executive director of Marie Detty Youth and Family Services Center, Inc. of Lawton, Oklahoma.

The grand jury indictment says Smith stole funds from an employee profit-sharing plan and falsely told the board of Marie Detty that there were insufficient funds available, even though a federal grant fully funded the plan.

The indictment also alleges that Smith set up a consulting company called Paradigm Associates and paid the company $66,000. Paradigm Associates had no employees, no business location, and provided no services. According to the indictment, Smith set up the Paradigm Associates bank account and opened a post office box, to which only he had access.

Finally, the indictment says Smith made false statements to a special agent of the U.S. Department of Labor on Feb. 11, 2008.

The embezzlement charge carries a maximum penalty of five years and $250,000; the fraud charge, 20 years and $250,000; the false statements charge, five years and $250,000.

In a prepared statement from Nexus, the corporation that manages Mille Lacs Academy, Smith said, “These charges were thoroughly investigated in 2004 by the Marie Detty board of directors. I was exonerated of all allegations, and all charges were dropped. I’m sure the federal charges will be dropped as well.”

Smith was originally indicted and arraigned last fall, but the original 27 counts were reduced to 10. On Nov. 7, he pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance. He agreed to inform his employer of the charges against him. Nexus CEO David Hutchinson said Smith informed him of the charges at the outset.

Smith joined Nexus in 2007 as executive director of the Mille Lacs Academy.

Since that time, the Nexus statement says, two annual independent, outside audits have been performed and an additional special independent, outside audit was completed in February 2009. No irregularities were found in the audits.

Nexus CEO David Hutchinson said the audit findings are consistent with the performance he’s seen from Smith. “Paul has demonstrated excellence in leadership at Mille Lacs Academy. We stand behind him as he counters these allegations.”

Hutchinson also said Nexus will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds. There are no plans to remove Smith from his post. “An indictment is not a conviction,” Hutchinson said. “In our system of justice, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. We plan to let the justice system run its course and will make appropriate decisions based on the outcome of the case.”

Smith’s case is on the jury docket for Monday, July 13, before U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron.


Conversation outside of Onamia city hall....

Paul Smith:

"Mr. D'Angelo doesn't want to sue you."


"Then why is he suing me?"

Paul Smith (smirking):

"You didn't show Mr. D'Angelo proper respect."



Who does he think he is? Tony Soprano?









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