Charleston wedding planner gets $35K bond on fraud charges

Charleston wedding planner gets $35k bond on fraud charges

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Charleston wedding planner was back in court on Friday to face charges of fraud which were originally dismissed earlier this year.

Robert Lawson Smith, better known as Lawson Roberts, was charged with four counts of financial transaction card fraud and three counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent.  He turned himself in Friday morning, according to police records, and was released Friday afternoon after being given a $35,000 bond.

Smith, 37, faced those charges earlier this year, but the charges were dropped in February because court officials said prosecutors did not have specific dates of the alleged card fraud.  At the time, prosecutors said they would come back with warrants for each specific date in the case.

Authorities say Smith's original arrest stems from a report filed in August of 2011 by Wendy Shearer, a Miami woman who contacted police regarding possible fraud committed by Smith.

Shearer said she and her husband had hired Smith as their wedding planner in October of 2010. A police report states that the couple paid Smith a total of $65,000 for their wedding.

According to the woman, $63,000 of those funds were to pay vendors who had contributed to the wedding.

Police say the woman then received a call on May 16, 2011 from her husband's credit card company stating that there were charges starting to show up on the couple's card. Authorities say an investigation revealed that Smith had not paid some of the vendors and used the victim's credit card to charge an additional $28,000 in funds.

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