St. Louis City Treasurer's office 'ghost employee' convicted

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by Lauren Trager, News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 26 at 10:21 PM

(KMOV) -- A jury returned guilty verdicts Tuesday for the man accused of stealing almost $400,000 of your tax dollars.

Attorneys say Fred Robinson had a two separate schemes going on: not only taking money from a St. Louis charter school, but collecting a paycheck from the city treasurer's office for hours he never worked.

The jury took just about two hours to deliberate the case at the federal courthouse before they found Robinson guilty.

“Stealing is stealing, it doesn't happen by accident,” said US Attorney Richard Callahan.

Looking back on a case spanning years, Callahan said justice was served.

News 4 caught up with Fred Robinson back in 2011.

"The allegations were manufactured," he told News 4 then.

But a jury said otherwise Tuesday. Robinson was found guilty of defrauding the public of around $383,000.

As a "ghost employee,” attorneys says Robinson was collecting $35,000 a year over four years for hours he never worked at the St. Louis city Treasurer's office.

But Callahan said, perhaps worse: what he did to harm the public school system.

In 2009 and '10, Robinson was chair of the board for the now closed Paideia academy, a St Louis charter school operating on state and federal funds.

Attorneys argued Robinson took almost $250,000 from the school and purchased a building he planned to privately open as a daycare.

“When you are stealing money from schools, public or charters, what you are doing is hurting the children and the city's future,” Callahan said.

Robinson’s sentencing is set for July. He faces up to 90 years in prison.

 

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