Former Tennessee State Rep. Robin Smith pled guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection to an alleged conspiracy involving former Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives Glen Casada. Smith resigned Monday after the charges were filed.
In a press release, U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee announced that Smith pleaded guilty to a single count of Honest Services Wire Fraud. She is scheduled to be sentenced on October 17.
Honest Services Wire Fraud is a felony violation that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison with no minimum sentence. A maximum fine of $250,000 is another possible penalty.
The release also said, “Smith received kickbacks in exchange for using her position to pressure the Tennessee House Speaker’s Office to approve Phoenix Solutions as a Mailer Program vendor and disperse State funds to Phoenix Solutions.”
As part of the plea deal, court filings show that Smith has agreed to fully cooperate with the ongoing investigation.
Defendant agrees to cooperate fully and truthfully with the United States and to provide all information known to her regarding any criminal activity. In that regard:
a. Defendant agrees to respond truthfully and completely to any and all questions that may be put to her, whether in interviews, before a grand jury, or at any trial(s) or other court proceedings.
b. Defendant agrees to be reasonably available for debriefings and pre-trial conferences as the United States may require.
c. Defendant agrees to produce voluntarily any and all documents, records, writings, or materials of any kind in her possession or under her care, custody, or control relating directly or indirectly to all areas of inquiry and investigation.
d. Defendant consents to continuances of her sentencing hearing as requested by the United States.
The agreement also provides that if Smith gives any false testimony, then she would be in violation of the agreement and would be subject to additional prosecution. The agreement is not conditional on any other individual being charged. Smith also agreed to provide the U.S. attorney’s office with financial reports.
According to the U.S. attorney’s office, the FBI investigated the case against Smith. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda J. Klopf and trial attorney John P. Taddei of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section are the assigned prosecutors.
The Tennessee Star previously reported that the charge Smith pled guilty to is in connection with an alleged conspiracy that involved Casada and his former chief of staff Cade Cothren.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee previously said that Smith and Casada received kickbacks from Cothren’s Phoenix Solutions LLC in exchange for using their official Tennessee General Assembly positions to arrange for Cothren’s LLC to be a constituent services mail vendor to members of the Tennessee General Assembly.
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