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March 12, 2015

Former nonprofit exec pleads guilty to theft

Nathaniel E. Robinson facing 10 years in prison for stealing at least $5,000 from SELF, Inc.

Crime Theft
Courts File Art/for PhillyVoice


A former nonprofit executive pleaded guilty Thursday to theft charges, admitting that he stole money from SELF, Inc., an organization dedicated to helping the homeless.

Nathaniel E. Robinson, 62, of Philadelphia, allegedly used his corporate American Express credit card to charge about $154,309 of personal expenses between 2006 and 2010. He was reimbursed $2,594.30 before his employment was terminated. He admitted stealing at least $5,000 of SELF's funds for personal use.

Robinson, former chief program officer for the nonprofit, used the credit card to pay for rental cars, personal car repairs, lodging, airfare, legal fees, entertainment, retail expenses and dining expenses in Philadelphia, Lake Buena Vista, Florida [Disney World], and other cities, according to an indictment.

“Every organization that receives taxpayer funding must act as responsible stewards of that money," Philadelphia Inspector General Amy Kurland said in a statement. "That duty is even more important in a case like this, where funds were designated to help some of Philadelphia’s residents who are most in need. This case sends a strong message that misappropriating taxpayer money will not be tolerated."

Robinson will be sentenced June 8 by U.S. District Judge Berle Schiller. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, restitution, up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

Robinson was charged last July alongside Erica N. Brown, SELF's former chief operating officer.