Robertson pleads guilty to embezzlement charge; Sentencing defer - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Robertson pleads guilty to embezzlement charge; Sentencing deferred

Former State Senator Tommy Robertson was indicted on five counts of embezzlement in January 2015. (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.) Former State Senator Tommy Robertson was indicted on five counts of embezzlement in January 2015. (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Former State Senator Tommy Robertson entered a guilty plea Monday morning in Jackson County Circuit Court. He was charged back in January with five counts of embezzlement for allegedly taking more than $484,000 from Singing River Federal Credit Union. 

Prosecutors said the embezzlement occurred while he was employed as the Board Attorney at Singing River Federal Credit Union. Robertson also served as a state senator for 16 years. 

Robertson represented Singing River Federal Credit Union as board attorney for more than 25 years. Part of his duties included closing real estate loans.

"Whenever a loan is closed, that money is turned over in trust to the attorney," Singing River Federal Credit Union President and CEO Jimmy Simth explained. "That money, after a three day right to retention, would come back to the credit union."

In April of 2013, Smith said something strange happened.

"I received a telephone call from his secretary that informed me she had been abruptly let go by Mr. Robertson, which puzzled us because we had not heard from him," Smith said.

Credit union leaders were trying to contact Robertson about a large construction loan that had been closed.

"We never got the check back from him, which is the proper procedure," Smith said. "We realized then something was not correct, so with that we began digging."

Smith said an investigation revealed money was missing from four other smaller loan closings.

"One, for example, was taxes that he needed to pay that was taken out of the proceeds from the loan closing. We learned those were never paid," Smith said.

Insurance covered most of the $484,092 missing, but Smith said the credit union did have to absorb a significant amount of the losses.

"None of the members took any loss as a result of this," Smith said. "We fully restored immediately any funds and made good, so this was very transparent to any of our members."

Robertson's sentencing was deferred to a later date, as the defense is requesting for a pre-sentence investigation. 

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