TRAVERSE CITY — A Rapid City man faces felony embezzlement and other charges for an alleged criminal scheme that bilked his former employer of more than $130,000 during a nearly six-year period.
Erik Benjamin Smith, 49, worked as a branch manager at Williams Distributing in Garfield Township, where Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s investigators learned company officials discovered inventory problems that led to a records review. The company’s president reported the suspected theft to authorities, court records show.
Grand Traverse County Assistant Prosecutor Charles Hamlyn signed the three-count felony complaint against Smith, which included embezzlement, using a computer to commit a crime and illegal financial transactions. Magistrate Tammi Rodgers of the 86th District Court arraigned Smith on May 21 and set his personal recognizance bond at $25,000, records show.
“He was employed and trusted by the victim for nearly 23 years,” said Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg. “Our office will work with the victim to confirm restitution amounts.”
Williams Distributing is a Grand Rapids-based company that specializes in heating, cooling, kitchen and bath, plumbing, garage doors and more. The business has more than a dozen locations across Michigan, as well as sites in Ohio and Indiana.
Smith’s job as…