- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 29, 2020

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Tennessee state senator has been charged with stealing more than $600,000 federal funds received by a health care company she directed and using the money to pay for her wedding and other personal expenses, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

A criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday charges state Sen. Katrina Robinson with theft and embezzlement involving government programs and wire fraud, U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said in a news release.

Robinson, a Democrat elected to the General Assembly in 2018 from a Memphis district, is also the director of The Healthcare Institute, which provides training for jobs in the health care field, prosecutors said.

The Memphis-based company received received more than $2.2 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Prosecutors said Robinson stole more than $600,000 and used it to pay for her wedding and honeymoon, a vehicle for her daughter, travel and entertainment for her family, and an event for her state Senate campaign.

She also used the money to pay for legal fees for her divorce, improvements to her home and a snow cone business operated by her children, prosecutors said.

If convicted, Robinson faces a possible sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison. Robinson’s attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment on her behalf.

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