A 45 year old former Warner Music executive and a top Hollywood fund-raiser for President Obama, Danielle D. Smith embezzled more than $1 million from the record label.
As a label head for the “urban” unit of Warner Music’s Atlantic Records division her job was to find fresh new talent and sign them to the label. The credit card was issued under her name strictly for arranging their travels and lodging but according to the sources Smith misused the credit card to fund her own luxury lifestyle.
She used the company’s credit card for booking rooms in luxury hotels and airfare for personal vacations and trips, and shelled out for “luxury goods” between 2007 and 2011, according to law enforcement sources. Assistant District Attorney Eve Teipel said the credit card was used to “make charges in excess of $1 million that weren’t business charges,”. The whole thing lead to an internal investigation back in 2011 by the Atlantic record label.
In 2012, Smith was one of several “Hollywood power women” touted by the Hollywood Reporter for their clout in fund-raising for Obama’s re-election bid. She was listed as a top bundler, pulling in between $200,000 and $500,000 for the president.
Warner brass alerted the Manhattan DA’s Office to the alleged theft. She flew in from Cali with her mother and was pleaded not guilty before Justice Gregory Carro, who set bail at $1 million. Her mother agreed to put up her retirement fund to spring her daughter on bail. “She denies the allegations and we look forward to exonerating her,” said Scott Leemon, her lawyer who has represented 50 Cent and Jim Jones before. Smith is due back in court Wednesday morning.