Ala. Outdoorsman Facing $1 Million Judgment Apparently Flees U.S.

July 30, 2007

Edmond H. “Eddie” Smith IV, a flamboyant Alabama outdoorsman who was fitted with an electronic monitoring device and faces an order to pay more than $1 million in an insurance fraud case, has fled and may be in another country, authorities said.

Smith removed the court-ordered device and apparently has fled the United States, his father, E.H. Smith III, said in an affidavit.

In the affidavit, filed earlier this month and reported July 27 by the Press-Register, the elder Smith said his wife, 63-year-old Linda D. Smith, is believed to be traveling with his son.

He said they “left the country last month without so much as a goodbye.”

“I feel that I have been victimized by my wife and son, who have lied to me and mismanaged so many things and hid so many things from me since my health began to fail,” Smith said.

“We’re continuing our search for Eddie Smith. We believe he may be overseas,” Kate Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, said this week. “We are working with federal authorities and looking into all our leads to ensure that Eddie faces justice here in Mobile.”

Smith had been sentenced to home confinement after being convicted of harassing a store clerk. But he took hunting trips that were reported by the Press-Register, and a judge ordered Smith jailed for violating terms of probation.

On May 22 the 350-pound Smith, fitted with an advanced GPS electronic monitoring device, was allowed to leave jail to get medical help in New Orleans for an infected foot. Within a week, Smith had removed the device from his leg and fled, the newspaper said.

Smith faces a court order to pay Lexington Insurance Co. more than $1 million for allegedly filing a false theft claim and forging the names of bank officials to cash insurance checks for damages to the Fowl River estate from Hurricane Ivan.

Information from: Press-Register,

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