NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Nashville man under federal indictment in Connecticut for allegedly misappropriating money he raised for the victims and survivors of the Sandy Hook tragedy will not be charged in Tennessee by Davidson County officials, for now.
Robbie Bruce, 34, was indicted on six counts of wire fraud in a sealed indictment on Feb. 4.
The indictment alleges he took money from events he promoted as fundraisers for the Sandy Hook victims and spent it on himself.
News 2 was first to report in 2014 that the co-founder of the 26.4.26 Foundation had filed a complaint with the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office about more than $70,000 she said was unaccounted for from the group.
Ryan Grainey said the organization had raised more than $100,000 through fundraisers, but only $30,000 had been distributed.
She said when she inquired about the remainder of the money Bruce would not show her the accounts.
The federal indictment is based on six donations made by Connecticut residents via PayPal totaling $167.
“I felt a huge sense of relief because I felt like for the last two years I have been screaming and nobody has heard me,” Grainey said by phone Wednesday. “I felt like I was finally heard and finally there is a conclusion to this nightmare that has been going on.”
Grainey remains close to the family of Victoria Soto. Soto was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School and died in the shooting.
Bruce was at one point also close to the family, according to her sister, Jillian.
“He came into the home that Victoria lived in with us,” she said via phone. “We shared stories and allowed him to go into the memorial room.”
Soto told News 2 she plans to be in court for Bruce’s arraignment on Feb. 23.
“Justice is going to be served one way or the other and he is going to have to face what he did at least,” she said. “He is going to have to see us there and realize this was not okay.”
Grainey also plans to fly to Hartford for the arraignment.
“I will stop at nothing to protect the Soto’s,” she said. “They have become like family.”
Bruce was arrested on Friday and posted $20,000 bail.
The Davidson County District Attorney’s Office said it deferred its investigation in lieu of the federal investigation.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut told News 2 the investigation is ongoing.
Bruce faces up to 120 years in prison if he is convicted on all six counts of wire fraud.