x
Breaking News
More () »

Federal Grand Jury indicts Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson on theft and embezzlement charges

If found guilty, Robinson could be sentenced to 20 years behind bars.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — UPDATE 7/30/2020 - (U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE NEWS RELEASE) - Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson, 39, has now been indicted for theft and embezzlement involving government programs and wire fraud. Robinson was previously charged in this matter by a federal criminal complaint that was unsealed on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. On Thursday, July 30, 2020, 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. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the indictment today.   According to the indictment, Katrina Robinson is the Director of The Healthcare Institute (THI), a provider of educational and training programs for jobs in the healthcare field. She is also a Tennessee State Senator, having been elected to represent the 33rd District in Shelby County in 2018.  

Between 2015 and 2019, The Healthcare Institute received over $2.2 million in federal grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. During that same time period, Robinson stole in excess of $600,000 from THI by compensating herself in excess of what was allowed under the terms of the HRSA grant and by using Institute funds for payments and purchases for her own personal benefit and that of her immediate family.  

Payments and purchases included a vehicle for her daughter; clothing, accessories, and hair and beauty products; 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 for herself and her family; improvements to her personal residence; expenses related to a body aesthetics business she owned and a snow cone business operated by her children; and an event for her State Senate campaign. 

If convicted, Robinson faces a possible sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison, 3 years supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.  There is no parole in the federal system. 

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: “Protection of the United States Treasury and federal grant programs against theft, fraud, waste, and abuse is a top priority of this office and the Department of Justice. We commend the FBI and the HHS-OIG for their diligent and thorough investigation in this case.” 

"Anyone who seeks to take advantage of government programs will be vigorously investigated by the FBI, regardless of who they are or any position they hold," said Acting Special Agent in Charge Jermicha L. Fomby of the Memphis Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  "The public should know that the FBI will continue to work diligently with our law enforcement partners to identify and investigate those who seek to exploit government programs and line their own pockets."  

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG). Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher E. Cotten is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. 

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

--------------------------------------------------

UPDATE 7/29/2020 - (U.S. Department of Justice News Release) - Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson, 39, has been federally charged with theft and embezzlement involving government programs and wire fraud. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the unsealing of the criminal complaint today. 

According to the information presented in the complaint, Katrina Robinson is the Director of The Healthcare Institute (THI), a provider of educational and training programs for jobs in the healthcare field. She is also a Tennessee State Senator, having been elected to represent the 33rd District in Shelby County in 2018.  

Between 2015 and 2019, The Healthcare Institute received over $2.2 million in federal grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. During that same time period, Robinson stole in excess of $600,000 from THI by compensating herself in excess of what was allowed under the terms of the HRSA grant and by using Institute funds for payments and purchases for her own personal benefit and that of her immediate family.  

Payments and purchases included a vehicle for her daughter; clothing, accessories, and hair and beauty products; 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 for herself and her family; improvements to her personal residence; expenses related to a body aesthetics business she owned and a snow cone business operated by her children; and an event for her State Senate campaign. 

If convicted, Robinson faces a possible sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison, 3 years supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.  There is no parole in the federal system. 

The case will be presented to a federal grand jury at a later date to consider an indictment against the defendant. 

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, “Protection of the United States Treasury and federal grant programs against theft, fraud, waste, and abuse is a top priority of this office and the Department of Justice. We commend the FBI and the HHS-OIG for their diligent and thorough investigation in this case.” 

"Anyone who seeks to take advantage of government programs will be vigorously investigated by the FBI, regardless of who they are or any position they hold," said Acting Special Agent in Charge Jermicha L. Fomby of the Memphis Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

"The public should know that the FBI will continue to work diligently with our law enforcement partners to identify and investigate those who seek to exploit government programs and line their own pockets."  

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG). The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations of criminal conduct, not evidence. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and convicted through due process of law. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher E. Cotten is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. 

----------------------------------------------------------

The Senate Democratic Caucus issued the following statement: "It's clear that Sen. Robinson's work in the state legislature on behalf of her constituents is not in question here today. Just like every other American, Sen. Robinson deserves the presumption of innocence and due process under the law. Her case should be resolved by a court of law, not by the court of public opinion."

----------------------------------------------------------

----------------------

7/28/2020 - FBI agents confirmed they raided a Tennessee state senator's property for the second time this year.

In February, federal agents executed a search warrant at Katrina Robinson's home and nursing school business, The Healthcare Institute. They took several boxes of documents with them.

According the Department of Health and Human Services, Robinson gets $2-million worth of grants over a 4-year period for a geriatric program.

For the last few months, Robinson has been working as a nurse in several COVID hotspots across the country.

Local 24 News has reached out to the U.S. Attorney's Office and Robinson about the raid, but haven't heard back.

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out