Charleston wedding planner arrested for using couple’s credit card for personal debts www.privateofficer.com
CHARLESTON, SC Jan 24 2013
Investigators say they have arrested a 35-year-old Charleston wedding planner who used a couple’s credit card to pay off debts.
The Charleston Police Department charged Robert Lawson Smith, commonly known as Lawson Roberts, with financial transaction card theft. He was granted a $10,000 bond on Monday.
Authorities say the arrest stems from a report filed in August of 2011 by a Miami woman who contacted police regarding possible fraud committed by Smith.
The woman said she and her husband had hired Smith as their wedding planner in October of 2010. A police report states that the couple paid Smith a total of $65,000 for their wedding.
According to the woman, $63,000 of those funds were to pay vendors who had contributed to the wedding.
Police say the woman then received a call on May 16, 2011 from her husband’s credit card company stating that there were charges starting to show up on the couple’s card.
Authorities say an investigation revealed that Smith had not paid some of the vendors and used the victim’s credit card to charge an additional $28,000 in funds.
According to Smith’s website, Smith’s celebrity clients have included: Ryan Gosling, Gena Rowlands, Nick Nolte, B.B. King, Michelle Branch, Randy Jones, The Dave Matthews Band, Heath Ledger, Reese Witherspoon, Elizabeth Taylor, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Tom Hanks, Patrick Swayze and Barbara Streisand.
A search of Smith’s criminal history from the State Law Enforcement Division indicates he was arrested in 2006 for a federal chartered financial institution crime, a felony, and the sale of alcohol for free or two for one basis, a misdemeanor.
The history also indicates he was arrested for check fraud of over $1,000 in 2009 and 2012.