U.S. Attorney's Office
District of South Carolina
(803) 929-3000
August 26, 2015

Former Charter School Director Sentenced to 42 Months for Embezzling Government Funds

COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Benita Dinkins-Robinson, age 40, of Bishopville, South Carolina, was sentenced in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina, for embezzling government funds in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641. United States Chief District Judge Terry Wooten sentenced Dinkins-Robinson to 42 months’ imprisonment and ordered her to pay over $1.5 million in restitution.

Evidence presented during the ten-day trial and during the asset forfeiture phase of the case established that from 2007 to 2013, Dinkins-Robinson embezzled more than a million dollars in federal funds supplied by United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Education that were intended to be used for the Mary L. Dinkins Higher Learning Academy, a charter school Dinkins-Robinson established in 2005. The jury also determined that Dinkins-Robinson must forfeit over $750,000 in annuities that she purchased while serving as the Executive Director of the charter school as well as her share in a Camden house that she owned.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Education Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorneys Winston Holliday and Ben Garner of the Columbia office handled the case.

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