Tennessee Democrat Charged With Stealing Hundreds of Thousands in Federal Funds for Personal Use

A Tennessee Democrat State Senator is being charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal healthcare funds to pay for personal use, including a wedding, a honeymoon, and divorce expenses.

Katrina Robinson, who represents a Memphis-area district in the Tennessee Senate, is being charged with wire fraud, embezzlement, and theft in an indictment announced Wednesday. The FBI had executed a search warrant at her home on the same day.

It’s alleged that Robinson used federal money intended to subsidize the Healthcare Institute- a company for which she served as a director- for the aforementioned expenses, as well as buying her daughter a Jeep Cherokee and funding a snow cone business.

The Department of Justice is claiming that Robinson stole what amounts to $600,000 in healthcare funds.

The Democratic Senator is maintaining her innocence, and the state legislative Democratic Caucus appears to be standing by her. The group stated in a press release Thursday that her legislative work is “not in question,” with Robinson claiming that “if I were not in the position that I’m in, that if I did not champion the voices, the views and the faces that I represent, that I would not be in this moment right now.”

The Healthcare Institute had received more than $2.2 million in federal healthcare grants from 2015 to 2019. Read the full Department of Justice indictment here.

Robinson could face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted of the federal corruption charges.