Attorney General Laxalt Announces Guilty Plea of Former Washoe County Court Employee

March 16, 2015

Carson City, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that Drema Sue Smith, 50, of Sparks, pleaded guilty this week to attempted theft, a category D felony, for her role in fraudulently obtaining and using unemployment insurance benefits. The fraud occurred between January and December 2012 while Smith was an employee of the Washoe County Court System.

    Smith was accused of helping an inmate obtain unemployment benefits while incarcerated in both the Washoe County Detention Center and in a Nevada Department of Corrections Prison. As part of her plea, Smith agreed to pay more than $7,000 in restitution to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

      “The Attorney General’s Office will continue to protect taxpayer monies by prosecuting those who defraud our state and abuse assistance programs,” said Laxalt. “The defendant, who worked closely with those who administer justice, should have known better than to engage in this brazen attempt at fraud.”

        Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on May 12, 2015, in the Second Judicial District Court, Department 15.The charges against her co-defendant are pending.

          The investigation of this case was a joint effort of investigators from the Attorney General’s Office and the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and the Nevada Department of Corrections assisted in the investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Ross E. Armstrong.

            To read the criminal Information, click here. To file a complaint about someone suspected of committing unemployment insurance fraud, click here.


              SMITH, DREMA

                (Photo Courtesy of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office)