Former Tennessee State Representative Charged With Honest Services Wire Fraud

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

NASHVILLE – Former Tennessee State Representative Robin Smith, 58, of Hixson, Tennessee, pleaded guilty today to a single count of honest services wire fraud, following charges filed on Friday, announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee. 

According to a criminal Information filed Friday in U.S. District Court, Smith, representing Tennessee House District 26, engaged in a fraudulent scheme with others to contract with Phoenix Solutions, LLC to provide mail and consulting services for members of the Tennessee General Assembly.  Smith and others falsely claimed that Phoenix Solutions was operated by an experienced political consultant named “Matthew Phoenix.” In fact, “Matthew Phoenix” was a fictitious person.

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. 

The Information also alleged that in September and December 2020, Smith received two checks from Phoenix Solutions totaling more than $24,000, which she deposited into her consulting firm’s bank account. 

Smith will be sentenced on October 17, 2022.

This case was investigated by the FBI.  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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