Federal authorities arrested longtime Dunbar High School Football coach Lawrence E. Smith Friday morning on charges of fraud and tax evasion.

The allegations relate to Smith’s job as a detective in charge of the overtime unit for the Baltimore City School Police. Federal prosecutors accused Smith of fraudulently obtaining more than $215,000 in overtime pay, attempting to avoid paying federal income taxes, and filing a false tax return.

Smith, 49, of Perry Hall, appeared in federal court in Baltimore Friday afternoon. He did not respond to the allegations and answered questions from the judge with “yes, sir” and “no, sir.” U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson released Smith pending trial. He was ordered to surrender a gun and avoid contact with witnesses in the case.

He faces 11 counts of wire fraud, three counts of tax evasion and one count of filing a false tax return. A single count of wire fraud brings a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, though men and women without prior criminal records often receive reduced penalties. His attorney, Chaz Ball, declined to comment.

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City schools administrators have placed Smith on leave. The district issued a statement in response to the charges.

“The charges against Lawrence Smith — including attempts to defraud City Schools through false reporting — are unacceptable. Such actions, if true, erode the trust between the public and the City Schools employees who follow the rules and serve our community daily. The district has cooperated with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office throughout their investigation.”

Federal prosecutors allege Smith collected overtime pay between 2019 and 2022 when he wasn’t working but instead running personal errands, socializing, coaching football and on vacation. He allegedly failed to file tax returns for 2017, 2019 and 2020 while filing a false return for 2018.

FBI agents visited the school headquarters a year ago, probing timecard irregularities and overtime fraud, sources said at the time. Smith works as a city schools police detective.

Smith — the only two-time recipient of the Baltimore Ravens’ High School Coach of the Year award — steered the high school team last season to its second straight Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Class 2A-1A title, and the Poets eighth championship under his leadership. Over the last five seasons, he’s coached Dunbar to a 61-4 record, second best in the state.

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Smith earned about $94,000 in overtime pay on top of a salary of about $62,500 between October 2020 and October 2021, according to school district data. He’s listed as the highest-paid school police officer during those 12 months, and he made nearly $30,000 more in overtime pay than any other officer. City schools officials declined to comment.

From October 2021 to October 2022, records show he received $70,000 in salary and another $67,994 in overtime pay. He received another $15,811 listed as “additional earnings,” for a total of $153,810.

In January, Fox45 Baltimore compared time card records and Smith’s social media posts that appeared to show him with the football team and on vacation when he reported working police overtime. In one such video, Smith was shown driving a boat on the Chesapeake Bay during a period when he reported he was working overtime at a COVID-19 test site, the station reported.

On. Aug. 9, Smith posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that he was excited to coach another season.

“Today starts my 23rd year as a Football Coach at Dunbar High School and my 16th year as Head Coach! The anticipation of this day never gets old!” he wrote. “Over 100 young men will start their journey to earn the right to run out that tunnel on a Friday night to be the next chapter in Dunbar.”

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