A former Washington Metro employee admitted to stealing thousands from the agency in a cleaning supply scam that could ensnare other Metro workers or contractors.
Kirby Smith plead guilty Friday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, to one count of supplementation of a government official’s salary for charging a Metro credit card for cleaning supplies that were never delivered.
Instead, Smith received a portion of the money after the payment was processed.
He admitted collecting at least $10,000 in cash out of the approximately $174,054 Metro was charged for supplies it never received to clean stations in 2013 and 2014.
At a July 2013 meeting, Smith agreed to “make some money on the side” by accepting kickbacks, which came only when the order was either shorted or not delivered at all, according to court documents.
He provided the person running the company, identified in the documents as “Individual A,” with the details from his Metro credit card.
The cash and fake invoices were handed off in an envelope during an in-person exchange at the end of each month.
In one case, the drop was at a Starbucks in Tysons, Virginia.
Smith worked for Metro from 1989 to 2015, rising to become the Red Line’s assistant superintendent for maintenance and custodial services in 2013.
Once promoted, Smith received a Metro credit card meant to pay for cleaning supplies and other things needed at the 35 stations and nine garages.
At least two other Metro employees and at least two people outside the agency who set up the companies that processed the fake supply payments are identified in court documents.
The scam included a series of shell companies, which helped take more money from Metro quickly, court documents show.
The investigation is still ongoing.
Metro Inspector General Geoffrey Cherrington said he couldn’t comment on the case because the investigation remains open.
Smith has agreed to repay Metro at least $174,054 as part of the plea agreement.
He faces a maximum of one year behind bars, one year of supervised release and up to a $100,000 fine when he is formally sentenced in May.
Since he is cooperating with prosecutors now, the sentence will likely be less than that maximum.
For now, Smith was released on $10,000 bond.