A Democratic state senator from Tennessee has been arrested after she was caught swindling $600,000 in federal funds to pay for her wedding and her extravagant lifestyle.
State Senator Katrina Robinson has been accused of stealing money that was granted to The Healthcare Institute, a company that she was director of, between 2015 and 2019. Robinson, who was elected as a Democrat representing a Memphis district in 2018, allegedly used the money to pay for her wedding as well as her honeymoon and legal fees for her divorce, according to the New York Post.
The FBI and federal prosecutors said that Robinson also used the funds to purchase her daughter’s 2016 Jeep Renegade, home improvements, a $500 Louis Vuitton handbag and even invest in a snow cone business run by her children. She has since been arrested and charged with theft, embezzlement and wire fraud.
Despite all of this, Robinson is refusing to resign, saying that she will continue to serve in her state’s legislature “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,” Robinson said.
Tennessee’s state Senate Democratic Caucus is standing by Robinson for now, saying that her legislative work “is not in question” and that she “deserves the presumption of innocence and due process.”
Attorneys for Robinson appear confident that the Democratic senator will be vindicated in court.
“Senator Robinson has a story to tell. She’s eager to tell that story and we believe once all the facts come out and her story is told she will be vindicated,” her attorney Janika White told WMC5.
Fox13 reported that if convicted on all charges, Robinson is facing up to 20 years in federal prison, three years supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.