A 12-person federal jury on Thursday found Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis) guilty of four of five counts of wire fraud. Robinson was facing federal wire fraud charges after she was accused of using federal grant money awarded to a health care school – The Healthcare Institute – in which she operates.
Robinson was accused of using $600,000 from the school to pay for her wedding, a political campaign event and other personal expenses such as designer purses and vacations.
Last month, Robinson was acquitted on 15 possible fraud and embezzlement charges that had the potential of a possible sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison.
The Memphis Democrat was charged in July 2020 with wire fraud as well as theft and embezzlement involving government programs after the FBI searched The Healthcare Institute and her home.
In a press conference on Thursday, Robinson said she was totally innocent and was targeted for prosecution.
“First, let me say that I entered this process knowing that I am innocent and still I maintain that I am innocent,” Robinson said.
Robinson’s attorneys said that they would ask the judge for a reconsideration or to file a motion for a new trial.
According to News Channel 11, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, a Republican representing the Oak Ridge area, called on Robinson to step down.
“While Senator Robinson’s convictions did not stem from actions taken while in office, they are nevertheless very serious. As public servants, we are held to a higher standard. My personal opinion is that it would be in the best interest of the state and her constituents for Senator Robinson to step down at this time,” McNally said in a statement.
Robinson’s trial lasted three weeks. Her sentencing is scheduled for January 5th.
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