Tennessee state senator convicted of 4 of 5 remaining embezzlement charges

A Tennessee state senator was convicted on Thursday of four counts of wire fraud, after a district judge acquitted her earlier this week of 15 counts relating to the same allegations.

A 12-person jury has found Senator Katrina Robinson (D) guilty of four of the five remaining wire fraud charges, according to the Associated Press.

The move came after U.S. District Judge Sheryl Lipman on Tuesday filed an order acquitting the Senator on 15 of the 20 charges against her, including counts of fraud, theft and embezzlement involving government programs. .

Federal authorities accused Robinson in July 2020 of using more than $ 600,000 in workplace grants to pay campaign expenses and cover the costs of his wedding, honeymoon and divorce.

She has been charged with 20 counts of theft and embezzlement involving government programs, according to the AP.

Robinson was at the time director of the Healthcare Institute, a vocational school. Authorities alleged that she embezzled funds of more than $ 2.2 million in grants that the institute’s nursing training program received between 2015 and 2019 from an agency of the Ministry of Health and of Social Services.

These funds have been specifically earmarked for the training of nursing assistants and for scholarships as needed.

Authorities dropped their charges against Robinson after the FBI executed a search warrant at Robinson’s home and school.

Investigators had been investigating Robinson since 2016, after an anonymous report claimed she used $ 550 of the grant money to purchase a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Prosecutors, during the trial which began on September 13, sought to prove that Robinson used federal grant money for personal expenses, including payments for his wedding and honeymoon, a Jeep Renegade for her daughter, travel and entertainment for her family, a snow cone business for her children and an event related to her campaign for the state Senate, according to the AP.

Prosecutors allegedly used financial documents and testimony from FBI agents to prove their case throughout the trial.

Robinson’s lawyers, however, argued that the senator did not use the federal dollars to cover her personal payments. Instead, they argued that she paid with the profit made from the tuition fees received by the school she ran, in addition to other income, according to the AP.

The Hill has reached out to Robinson and his attorney for comment.

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