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A Tennessee state senator was charged with swindling $600,000 in federal funds to pay for her wedding and finance a lavish lifestyle, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.
From 2015 to 2019, state Sen. Katrina Robinson is accused of stealing the money that was granted to The Healthcare Institute — a company she directed, according to prosecutors.
In addition to covering her wedding costs, Robinson, a Democrat from a Memphis district elected in 2018, is charged with using the funds to pay for her honeymoon and pay legal fees for her divorce, the feds charge.
With the stolen money the lawmaker also paid for her daughter’s 2016 Jeep Renegade, home improvements, a $500 Louis Vuitton handbag and invested in a snow cone business run by her children, prosecutors and the FBI said.
Robinson was charged with theft, embezzlement and wire fraud.
Despite the charges, she said she will continue to serve in the state 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 said in a statement Robinson’s legislative work “is not in question” and she “deserves the presumption of innocence and due process.”