Two Charged in Atlanta Pension Theft Scheme

June 13, 2003 ( - Atlanta authorities have arrested two suspects in the theft of pension funds from city employees' retirement accounts.

One suspect, Lasheika Smith, a former city pension office worker, was accused of diverting pension payments of dead city workers into a special account and then accessing that money through an electronic teller machine card, according to a report on

In addition to Smith, charges were also filed against Howard Hill, an employee of the US Postal Service, according to a statement from Mayor Shirley Franklin quoted in the report.   There was no immediate information about what the two were charged with or details of their alleged scheme. City officials said they are unsure how much money was diverted.

Franklin said the arrests are part of an ongoing investigation and represent evidence of her commitment to clean up Atlanta City Hall.   She said the city is cooperating with Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard to prosecute Smith and Hill and is working to establish tighter fiscal controls to prevent future problems.