Hobby Lobby seems to keep finding itself making headlines lately. This time, it's after a North Carolina couple got caught using the craft store to purchase counterfeiting supplies. According to the Charlotte Observer, 45-year-old Joseph Smith and his companion, Angela Kristin Shaw were caught using materials they got from the store to create fake money that they then distributed.
The crimes took place in 2019, but this week Smith and Shaw were sentenced after being previously convicted. Smith was given 41 months in prison after pleading guilty to "conspiracy to defraud the federal government." Shaw pleaded guilty to the same charge. She was sentenced to "time served," as she has been behind bars since April 2019. Both of them were also sentenced to two years of supervised release.
Hobby Lobby has been at the center of a lot of controversy lately, not the least of which was when Hobby Lobby CEO David Green remarked that "God is in control" during the coronavirus pandemic. The comment came as Hobbly Lobby had begun closing stores, slashing employee salaries, and laying some others entirely. In a letter to the terminated employees, Vice President of the creative arts division, Darsee Lett stated: "It is with a tremendously broken heart that I’ve been forced to take these unimaginable actions, and I genuinely hope you know that my prayers are with you and your family."0comments
Lett continued, "It has been such an honor having you on my Team. I truly and deeply appreciate your service to this Department and the Company, and with you the very best as this calamity hopefully ends in the very near future." The layoffs and store closures came after Green issued a memo to employees, stating that while he does not know what the future holds for the business, everyone will have to "tighten" their belts. He also stated that "God is in control" of the situation.
Additionally, Hobby Lobby came under fire for arguing that it was and "essential business," and therefore should be allowed to remain open during the stay-at-home orders that many states issued about the nation because of coronavirus. A previous statement from the company read: "We know our customers relied on us to provide essential products, including materials to make personal protective equipment, such as face masks, educational supplies for the countless parents who are now educating their children from home, and the thousands of small arts and crafts businesses who rely on us for supplies to make their products."