A Democratic state senator from Tennessee has been arrested and charged with embezzling $600,000 in federal grant money to fund her wedding, subsequent divorce and lavish lifestyle, the New York Post reports.
Prosecutors charge that Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson, 39, siphoned off federal grant money meant for the vocational school that the Democrat runs, called The Healthcare Institute.
Robinson was elected to represent a Memphis district in 2018.The investigation into the Democratic state senator from Tennessee launched in 2016 following an anonymous complaint about her.Robinson also allegedly spent the stolen cash on improvements to her home and a Louis Vuitton handbag with a $500 price tag.
Tennessee prosecutors and the FBI further allege the Democratic state senator put some of the money into a snow cone business that was run by her children.The charges against State Senator Robinson include theft, embezzlement and wire fraud, according to a criminal complaint against the Democrat filed in the Western District of Tennessee.
According to The New York Times, the money was supposed to go toward providing scholarships to those training to become nurse assistants in geriatric care.The Healthcare Institute is a for-profit college that provides training for those seeking to become a certified nursing assistant, phlebotomist or licensed practical nurse.
The Democratic state senator, who is herself a registered nurse, started the Tennessee school in 2015.Between 2015 and 2019, the Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded the Healthcare Institute more than $2.2 million in grants.
According to ABC News, the FBI searched the school and Tennessee home of the Democratic state senator in February.Robinson’s attorney, Janika White, pushed back against federal prosecutors’ accusations at a news conference, saying that they had relied on a “broad and overreaching” take on a statute in building their case against the Democratic state senator from Tennessee.
White said that Robinson would be vindicated.
Touting Robinson’s altruistic bona fides, White noted that the Democratic state senator had been traveling outside of Tennessee in recent months to help treat people affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.