Former Exponent II treasurer sentenced to prison for stealing more than $100K from Latter-day Saint feminist magazine

A former treasurer for Exponent II, one of Mormonism’s longest-running feminist magazines, will spend 15 months in federal prison for stealing more than $100,000 from the nonprofit foundation.

Suzette Smith, a professional organizer in Virginia, became Exponent’s volunteer treasurer in 2012 and embezzled donations to the group for her personal use from then until 2017, when her fraudulent activities came to light.

On Friday, a federal judge in Virginia sentenced her to prison. She was ordered to pay just over $104,000 in restitution.

In a statement released after the sentencing, Exponent II officials said they are "relieved that this difficult period is over," and thanked the FBI and those who have supported their organization.

The Exponent II board reported the case to the FBI in early 2017, because the crime was conducted over state lines.

According to a statement of facts listed in court documents, Smith admitted that she took cash, checks and donations intended for Exponent II and put the funds in her personal account.

Smith admitted that she took almost $200,000 from the organization over the years, but transferred or paid back nearly $85,000 to avoid discovery. Her total amount stolen was just over $100,000.

In response to this incident, Exponent II has implemented several “financial safeguards,” guarding who has access to bank accounts and money handling.

Smith previously told The Salt Lake Tribune that she was “shameless and arrogant."

“I acted selfishly and with no regard for others,” she said. "What makes it worse is that Exponent II was a family to me. They trusted me with an opportunity to be a part of an amazing organization.”