MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson, 39, was indicted by a grand jury Thursday on 48 charges of theft and embezzlement involving government programs, and wire fraud.
The indictment comes one day after a criminal complaint against her was unsealed.
On Thursday, a federal grand jury in Memphis returned a 48-count indictment against Robinson, charging her with 24 counts of theft and embezzlement involving government programs, and 24 counts of wire fraud.
Prosecutors with U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant’s office said that a vocational school Robinson founded, The Healthcare Institute, received more than $2.2 million in federal grants between 2015 and 2019.
Robinson (D-Memphis) is accused of stealing $600,000 from the school and compensating herself more than the grant allowed.
Some of the things investigators say she used the grant money for included: a Jeep for her daughter; clothing, accessories, expenses related to her wedding and honeymoon and later, legal fees for her divorce; payments on her personal debts, including credit cards, store charge cards, student loans and other personal loans; travel and entertainment; improvements to her personal residence; expenses related to a body aesthetics business she owned and a snow cone business operated by her kids; and a state senate campaign.
If convicted, Robinson faces a possible sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison, three years
supervised release, and a $250,000 fine, prosecutors said. There is no parole in the federal system.
In a public statement made from the courthouse steps Wednesday evening, Robinson said she is committed to serving her constituents in Memphis, her students at The Healthcare Institute and her fellow nurses. She asked for prayers and support.