MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Within the 10-page criminal complaint federal prosecutors released after charging State Sen. Katrina Robinson with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, are text messages between her and two other co-conspirators.
The messages begin October 2017, after one of the co-conspirators, Brooke Boudreaux, had met the alleged victim in Las Vegas bar and begun a relationship with him.
Prosecutors say Boudreaux had asked the victim to pay her tuition at Robinson’s nursing school, The Healthcare Institute, even though Boudreaux wasn’t enrolled as a student.
In the first message, Katie Ayers, the grandmother of Boudreaux’s daughter, reaches out to Robinson.
Days later, all three women are exchanging messages.
Robinson writes, ‘How much money do you need to get out of this transaction?’
She later follows it up with, ‘I was asking so I know how much to charge him so I can get some cash.’
Boudreaux replies that she needs $10,000 and the women agree to meet with the victim. Robinson writes, “Love u too; now erase all this s***.’
That same day, prosecutors say the women met the victim at Robinson’s school and he paid $14,470 with his credit card.
A month later, prosecutors say Robinson wrote a check to Boudreaux from the school’s bank account for $10,082.
“Ms. Robinson denies that there was anything wrong or illegal with the transaction and further denies that she was aware of any illegal activity connected to it,” said Robinson’s attorney Janika White in a prepared statement.
“We are not aware of any victim to the crime alleged in the complaint and are surprised that the federal government would attempt to turn a small monetary transaction into a federal offense,” she added.
In 2020, Robinson was indicted in separate case for using $600,000 of her school’s funds for personal expenses. Prosecutors say some of those funds came from federal grants.
She’s due in court in March in that case and could face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted of the latest round of charges.
Earlier this month, she was elected secretary of the Tennessee Black Caucus.
Black Caucus president State Rep. Antonio Parkinson said he didn’t want to comment on Robinson’s case and said it isn’t something members of the caucus had discussed.