Tennessee State Senator Embezzled Federal Grant Money Worth $600,000

Tennessee state Senator Katrina Robinson is being charged for embezzling more than $600,000 of federal grant money acquired through a healthcare company she directed.

What We Know:

  • Robinson is a Memphis Democratic member of the 33rd district of the Tennessee Senate. She is facing counts of theft and embezzlement involving government programs and wire fraud.
  • The federal grant money was intended to fund a nursing program through The Healthcare Institute that Robinson directs. The Healthcare Institute provides training for jobs in the healthcare field. The Healthcare Institute received a grant of more than $2.2 million from the Health and Human Services Department for a certified nursing assistant program focused on geriatric populations and educational programs.
  • Instead of the funds going to the institute, Robinson used the money to add to her salary, campaign events, home improvements, personal expenses including her wedding and honeymoon, as well as legal fees for her divorce from 2015 through 2019. The FBI searched her home and the school back in February and visited her home again on Tuesday, advised FBI spokesman Joel Siscovic.
  • Robinson said she will lead

    “with the same integrity, the same passion that I’ve demonstrated since you’ve elected me to this office. It is believed 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.”

  • From 2015 through 2019, Robinson paid herself $169,134, which is more than she was allowed under the salary amounts permitted by the federal grant, the affidavit said. The decision is up to a federal grandy jury whether to formally indict her.

If convicted, Robinson is looking at a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison. She would have be up for re-election in 2022.