Saint Paul, Minnesota – Acting United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker today announced the sentencing of John Burwood Robinson, 50, to 33 months in federal prison for stealing more than $1.1 million from his employer. Robinson, who was charged on July 26, 2017 with one count of mail fraud and one count of filing a false tax return, pleaded guilty on August 17, 2017, to both counts. He was sentenced on November 30, 2017, before Senior Judge Paul A. Magnuson in U.S. District Court in Saint Paul, Minn.
“This is an appropriate sentence for a defendant who abused his long-held position of trust by stealing more than a million dollars from his employer to fund his preoccupation with classic automobiles,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Surya Saxena. “I am grateful for the combined efforts of the investigative agencies whose work brought this case to a successful conclusion.”
“IRS Criminal Investigation remains committed to uncovering financial fraud schemes,” stated Acting Special Agent in Charge Hubbard Burgess of the St. Paul Field Office IRS Criminal Investigation. “The recent 33-month sentencing of John Robinson shows that filing a filing false tax return will result in severe consequences.”
“Robinson was entrusted with managing the finances of the business that employed him, but instead he violated that trust by defrauding and stealing from the business,” said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Jessica Looman. “This successful criminal investigation was the result of a coordinated effort by the Commerce Fraud Bureau with the Blaine Police and the IRS.”
According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, from 1991 through 2016, Robinson was employed by North Central Stamping & Manufacturing, Inc. (“NCSMI”), and in 2003, he became NCSMI’s controller. As the controller, Robinson managed NCSMI’s bank accounts, bookkeeping records, and financial reports.
According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, Robinson devised a fraud scheme to steal money that was paid to NCSMI by its clients. Robinson opened a bank account in the name of NCSMI without the company’s knowledge or authorization. Robinson then deposited payments made by NCSMI’s customers into the fraudulent bank account he had set up. Robinson used the money to pay for his own personal expenses, to fund his hobby of buying and restoring automobiles and automobile parts, and to pay for a storage facility to store the automobiles and parts. In total, Robinson stole approximately $1,200,000 from NCSMI.
According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, in addition to his theft, Robinson admitted to filing false tax returns by understating his total income for the calendar years 2009 through 2015, in order to lower his tax liability and to avoid detection of his fraud scheme. In total, Robinson caused a total tax loss of $291,757.31.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS, the Minnesota Department of Commerce Fraud Bureau, and the Blaine Police Department.
To read the full report, visit justice.gov.