MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson is facing new federal charges along with two other people with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant says, Robinson, Katie Ayers and Brooke Boudreaux allegedly conspired to use the Healthcare Institute to defraud a victim out of $14,470. Robinson is the director of the institute.
Robinson was previously charged in July 2020 for federal charges of theft and embezzlement involving government programs and wire fraud -- 48 counts in total. She pleaded not guilty to the charges in August 2020.
While investigating Robinson’s initial case regarding the allegations of her stealing more than $600,000 from THI by compensating herself with money granted to the institute from the Healthcare Resources and Services Administration from 2015 to 2016, the FBI uncovered more information.
Investigators say the three women convinced the victim that Boudreaux needed money for tuition and other expenses to attend THI. The victim reportedly paid $14,470 to THI but it was later revealed that Boudreaux was never a student at the institute.
The victim and Boudreaux were said to be in an intimate relationship at the time of the alleged crime. Robinson’s legal team says the relationship is ongoing. Her lawyers wrote in a statement:
“Ms. Robinson denies that there was anything wrong or illegal with the transaction and further denies that she was aware of any illegal activity connected to it.”
The money was split among the three women for personal benefit, according to Dunavant.
If convicted, each of them could face up to 20 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release with no chance for parole.
Robinson’s legal team released a statement after news of the recent charges broke saying in part:
“This additional charge comes at the same time the federal government has been forced to correct their first indictment due to legal insufficiencies. The government in the Superseding Indictment has dropped thirty-one counts from the original indictment in response to several motions to dismiss filed by Ms. Robinson. Ms. Robinson maintains her innocence to the new charge as well as to the charges in the superseding indictment wherein it is alleged that she took money from The Healthcare Institute, a company owned solely by herself.”