SOUTH BEND – Five individuals have been charged by way of an 11-count indictment, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tina L. Nommay.
The following individuals were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud; 6 counts of bank fraud; and 2 counts of wire fraud: Tonya Robinson, 58; Albert Smith, 44; Tyreisha Robinson, 30; Archie Robinson III, 60; and Ronald Taylor, Jr, 42; all of South Bend. Tonya Robinson, Albert Smith, and Tyreisha Robinson were also charged with one count of federal program theft. Tyreisha Robinson was also charged with theft of government money.
According to documents in this case, Tonya Robinson was the former Executive Director of the South Bend Housing Authority (HASB) from approximately 2014 to 2019. Albert Smith and Tyreisha Robinson are former employees at the HASB. Archie Robinson and Ronald Taylor are owners of contracting businesses hired by the HASB to do contracting work.
The HASB provides housing opportunities and services to the South Bend community, managing more than 800 public housing residential units. The HASB had an annual contract with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development from which it receives several hundred thousand dollars annually in assistance from the federal government. As Executive Director, Tonya Robinson was the primary person responsible for the overall day-to-day operations of the HASB.
It is alleged that all five defendants conspired to defraud and obtain money belonging to the HASB by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises for their personal use and benefit. The scheme is alleged to involve the creation of fraudulent HASB payment checks for contracting work that had not actually occurred; the contractors cashing and depositing the HASB payment checks while knowing that the work had not actually occurred; and the contractors kicking back a portion of the money from the HASB payment checks to employees at the HASB, including Tonya Robinson and Albert Smith.
The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that an indictment is merely an allegation, and that all persons are presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty in court.
If convicted, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Luke N. Reilander.