U.S. Judge Backs U.K. Request to Extradite ‘Irish Heiress’ Who Swindled Producer


Those charges date to between March 2008 and October 2010, when Ms. Smyth was living in Northern Ireland and working there as a mortgage adviser, according to a complaint filed by the U.S. attorney’s office for Maine. Ms. Smyth abused a position in which she was expected to “safeguard” the financial interests of her clients, the complaint says, and instead stole about 135,000 pounds, or $170,000 at current exchange rates, from five people.

Those accusations were first reported to the authorities in Northern Ireland in 2009, but British diplomatic officials didn’t request her extradition until last year.

One couple said they had given Ms. Smyth about £72,000, or $91,000, to purchase an investment property, according to the complaint. Ms. Smyth produced paperwork that appeared to confirm the sale and sent them “rental payments” each month, purportedly from tenants. When the payments stopped, the complaint said, the couple eventually found that the sale had never happened.

Other victims said they had given Ms. Smyth £20,000, or about $25,500, to invest in what she described as a “high-interest-bearing account” with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the complaint says. One called the bank, only to discover that the account did not exist.

Attempts to contact Ms. Smyth or track her down, the complaint says, were fruitless.

Mr. Walton, the producer, said in a text message on Thursday that he was “pinching himself” regarding news of the extradition, which he said he had been fighting to make happen for years. He thanked his podcast’s listeners, who he said had sent tips, videos and audio recordings that he submitted to prosecutors in the United Kingdom. That evidence, he said, “helped fashion the noose that is now tightening around her neck.”

Livia Albeck-Ripka contributed reporting.



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