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French bakery built with stolen funds, records show
French bakery built with stolen funds, records show

When Robert Smylie used to drive by La Maison Du Pain, he would recall the uplifting story behind the bustling Mid-Wilshire bakery. His law firm's former office manager and her sister built the business from scratch, welcoming customers on an unassuming stretch of Pico Boulevard known more for auto body shops than the fresh croissants and baguettes the women served. The French bakery helped spur a revival of the area, attracting art galleries, trendy restaurants and imported furniture boutiques. Smylie was happy for his former employee's success, even though her business seemed to be rising in fortunes just as his was falling. But the bakery hid a dark secret. Without...