SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The former executive director of South Bend’s housing authority has been indicted along with four others in a scheme that allegedly defrauded the U.S. government of millions of dollars.
Tonya Robinson, the former executive director of the South Bend Housing Authority, and the others are accused of creating fraudulent housing authority payment checks for contracting work that was not actually done, federal prosecutors said.
The contractors cashed and deposited those checks, and kicked back a portion of the money to Robinson, 58, and other authority employees, according to court documents, the South Bend Tribune reported.
The five defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, six counts of bank fraud and two counts of wire fraud.
The indictment, announced Tuesday, states that payments to the contractors totaled $5.8 million “over the course of the scheme.”
Although some money went for work that was completed, “many of the payment checks were for contracting work that had not actually occurred,” according to the indictment, which said the money went to the defendants' “personal use and benefit," including trips to casinos.
Also charged are Albert Smith, 44, the authority’s asset director from 2016 to 2019; Tyreisha Robinson, 30, Tonya’s daughter and an authority employee; Archie Robinson III, 60, owner and operator of a business called Kleaning to Renovations Inc.; and Ronald Taylor, Jr, 42, owner of “A Taylor Made Handy Man.” All are from South Bend.