Tennessee lawmaker pleads guilty to fraud charges related to former House Speaker

Robin Smith 2.jpg
Posted at 5:36 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 02:14:14-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Tennessee Republican lawmaker pleaded guilty to fraud charges in federal court Tuesday in relation to her involvement with a shadow company that provided mail services to the Tennessee General Assembly.

She will receive her sentence October 17 at 1 p.m.

The federal indictment emerged Monday for Hixson legislator Robin Smith. The FBI raided her home and office in 2021, when Rep. Glen Casada, Rep. Todd Warner and former aide Cade Cothren experienced the same. Authorities charged Smith with one count of honest services wire fraud, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, according to the indictment filed in the U.S. District Court in Nashville.

Charges stem from a mysterious company called Phoenix Solutions LLC that was set up by Cothren "for the purpose of offering mail and consulting services for legislative members facing primary challengers, and was later expanded to offer constituent mail services to members of the Tennessee General Assembly."

Smith named both Casada and Cothren in the charging document.

She also filed her resignation with the Tennessee General Assembly, leaving her East Tennessee seat open. Her seat covers a portion of Hamilton County.