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Former Warner Music exec and top Obama fund-raiser accused of embezzlement

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It’s a rule at least as old as A Tribe Called Quest’s 1991 classic Check the Rhime: Record company people are shady.

That certainly appears to be the case with former Warner Music executive Danielle D. Smith, who was indicted in Manhattan on Tuesday and charged with first-degree grand larceny for allegedly embezzling over $1 million from the record label.

According to the New York Post, Manhattan prosecutors have accused Smith of using a corporate credit card to “rack up $1.3 million in personal charges,” including “luxury goods” and “airfare for personal vacations and trips herself.” The Post reports that Smith worked in the “urban” unit of Atlantic Records and her responsibilities included “scouting and signing artists, as well as arranging their travel and lodging.” She resigned in 2011 while under internal investigation for the credit card abuses.

Smith was also a top fund-raiser for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. She was featured in a 2012 story in the Hollywood Reporter as one of several “Hollywood power women” and an Oct. 2012 Variety story listed Smith alongside actress Eva Longoria as a “top bundler” who raised between $200,000 and $500,000 for the Obama reelection campaign.

Smith's lawyer, Scott Leemon, told the Post, “She denies the allegations and we look forward to exonerating her.”


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