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Tennessee state senator pleads not guilty to federal charges

A Tennessee state senator has pleaded not guilty to charges of stealing more than $600,000 in federal grant money received by a health care school she directed and using the money to pay for personal items and expenses.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed agents were sent to the home of state Senator Katrina Robinson Tuesday.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed agents were sent to the home of state Senator Katrina Robinson Tuesday.(WMC)
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 11:00 PM EDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee state senator has pleaded not guilty to charges of stealing more than $600,000 in federal grant money received by a health care school she directed and using the money to pay for personal items and expenses.

Democratic Sen. Katrina Robinson entered her plea Tuesday during an online hearing before a federal magistrate judge in Memphis.

Robinson was indicted July 30 on dozens of counts of wire fraud, and theft and embezzlement involving government programs, in connection with her job directing The Healthcare Institute.

Investigators claimed she used the money to purchase a Jeep for her daughter, clothing, accessories, expenses related to her wedding and honeymoon and, later, legal fees for her divorce. She is also accused of using it for personal debts, student loans, travel and entertainment, a snow cone business operated by her kids and a state senate campaign.

The Memphis-based school provides training for health care industry jobs.

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