Former Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada and Aide Indicted in Alleged Bribery and Kickback Conspiracy

In a statement released early Tuesday, the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of ‘Tennessee announced that former Speaker of the Tennessee House Glen Casada and his former chief of staff Cade Cothren were indicted by a federal grand jury on Monday and arrested early Tuesday morning by the FBI.

According to the statement, they were charged with conspiracy to commit the following offenses: “theft from programs receiving federal funds; bribery and kickbacks concerning programs receiving federal funds; honest services wire fraud; and conspiracy to commit money laundering.”

Casada and Cothren were both were arrested at their homes by FBI agents and will make initial appearances before a U.S. Magistrate Judge later on Tuesday.

Mark H. Wildasin, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee and Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division made the announcement.

The indictment consists of 20 counts and “also charges Casada and Cothren with using a fictitious name to carry out a fraud; theft concerning programs receiving federal funds; eight counts of money laundering; six counts of honest services wire fraud; and two counts of bribery and kickbacks.”

Additionally, “According to the indictment, beginning in and around October 2019, Casada, while representing Tennessee House District 63, Cothren, and another conspirator, also a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, engaged in a fraudulent scheme to enrich themselves by exploiting Casada and the other conspirator’s official positions as legislators to obtain State approval of Phoenix Solutions as a Mailer Program vendor to provide constituent mail services to members of the Tennessee General Assembly.”

“Casada, Cothren, and the other conspirator further sought to obtain State funds for Phoenix Solutions, Casada’s political consulting business, and a political consulting business owned by the other conspirator.   It was further part of the conspiracy for Casada and the other conspirator to enrich themselves by obtaining bribes and kickbacks from Cothren, in exchange for securing the approval of Phoenix Solutions as a mailer program vendor,” the statement adds.

The U.S. Attorney’s statement details several key aspects of the case.

“The indictment alleges that Casada and the other conspirator told members of the Tennessee General Assembly that Phoenix Solutions was run by an individual named ‘Matthew Phoenix,; an experienced political consultant who had previously worked for a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm. In fact, Cothren operated Phoenix Solutions, and Casada, Cothren, and the other conspirator knew that ‘Matthew Phoenix’ was a fictitious person and secretly profited from the fraudulent venture,” it said.

“Casada, Cothren, and the other conspirator concealed their involvement in Phoenix Solutions by submitting sham invoices to the State of Tennessee in the names of political consulting companies owned by Casada and the other conspirator, for the purpose of secretly funneling money from the State to Phoenix Solutions through the bank accounts of these companies.  In 2020, these companies and Phoenix solutions received approximately $51,947 from the State in payments associated with the mailer program,” it added.

Both defendants each face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

The statement also notes that the case was investigated by the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda J. Klopf and Trial attorney John P. Taddei of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTRTwitterTruth Social, and Parler.

 

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7 Thoughts to “Former Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada and Aide Indicted in Alleged Bribery and Kickback Conspiracy”

  1. Randy

    Just another routine day in government. Who is the other conspirator? How many more schemes was the other conspirator part of? Why do some folks that do the same thing get a pass and others don’t? Building confidence in the electorate to elect better people might prevent this sort of thing from happening.
    (it matters who governs) Perhaps that is why they don’t bother trying. Stop providing the incentive to commit fraud.

  2. Horatio Bunce

    I’m glad nothing like this happened to Bredesen in regards to Silicon Ranch….or to Bredesen and Woodson in regards to the fraudulent claims in the Race to the Top federal funds application, or to Haslam (Board member of Achieve Inc, PARCC’s project manager) & Huffman (PARCC governing board member) in the multi-million, no-bid testing contract award to PARCC, or to Woodson and Bill Frist with TNAchieves spending those sweet Gates millions propagandizing Common Core’s “rigorous”, “internationally-benckmarked” standards while holding office. Why, if they hadn’t gotten away with all that, Casada and Cothren might’ve had something to fear…

    1. Big Crook Little Crook

      It does seem that if you’re a big crook in government nothing will happen to you but if you’re on the take for small amounts, here comes the FBI.

      1. Way of the World

        Exactly. That’s how the FBI works – it protects the big crooks to get something for itself, and cracks down on little ones that don’t literally affect the FBI’s status.

  3. Don Lalo

    We elected more morons in Tennessee on the sole basis of being “more” against the state income tax than their opponent. Some are still populating the body politic. It’s the same way with abortion and the 2nd Amendment. These idiots campaign that although their primary opponent also supports the 2nd Amendment and opposes they support/oppose it MORE (as if that is possible). The result is we get vapid professional politicians who robotically chant empty rhetoric and then crap like this happens.

  4. Cryan

    Daddy Casada and his Minute Man are going down. Where’s Stuart I Anderson?

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      Right here Cryan. Members of the House needed mailings and other services to be performed. Pheonix Solutions performed those services at what one must assume is a reasonable price given the House members only had a limited budget to spend. I say again, “tempest in a teapot” but of course, we’re dealing with Republicans here so they will probably get 20 years each in solitary confinement.

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