Memphis, Tennessee – A Democrat state senator based out of Tennessee is said to have stolen in excess of $600,000 in federal funds, according to federal prosecutors. The Department of Justice is now charging the 39-year-old senator theft and embezzlement involving government programs and wire fraud.
Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson Charged in Criminal Complaint for Theft and Embezzlement Involving Government Programs and Wire Fraud https://t.co/GNdeHaxdAK
— US Attorney Michael Dunavant (@USAttyDunavant) July 29, 2020
The senator behind this controversy is Katrina Robinson, who was elected to represent the 33rd District in Shelby County, Tennessee in 2018. It should also be noted that Robinson serves as the director of The Healthcare Institute – which officials say served as a vehicle for the alleged crimes.
The Healthcare Institute was said to have received over $2.2 million in federal grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration, typically referred to as the HRSA, between 2015 and 2019.
Federal prosecutors say that during this 4-year period, Robinson stole over $600,000 from The Healthcare Institute by giving herself compensation package that exceeded the limits defined within the HRSA grant and by also making some purchases for herself and family of a personal nature.
Oh I have a few very nasty things to say about this and Ms. Robinson … https://t.co/b80JPcvvUu
— File411 (@File411) July 29, 2020
According to the DOJ, there were the following types of personal purchases/uses outside of Robinson’s compensation:
- A car for her daughter
- Clothing, accessories and beauty supplies
- Expenses pertaining to her personal wedding and honeymoon
- Legal fees for her eventual divorce
- Paying off credit cards
- Paying off student loans
- Travel and entertainment expenses
- Improvements made on her home
- Expenses for a personally owned body aesthetics business
- Expenses related to a snow cone business ran by her children
- Event expenses for her personal State Senate campaign
The charges that Robinson are facing is no laughing matter – if she gets convicted then she could be looking at up to 20 years in prison along with three years of supervised release and a quarter-million dollar fine.
FBI Memphis Field Office’s Acting Special Agent in Charge Jermicha L. Fomby stated the following about the case:
“Anyone who seeks to take advantage of government programs will be vigorously investigated by the FBI, regardless of who they are or any position they hold.”
Agent Fomby also noted that the FBI will continue to investigate instances such as what Robsinson has been accused of. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant mirrored those sentimients as well:
“Protection of the United States Treasury and federal grant programs against theft, fraud, waste, and abuse is a top priority of this office and the Department of Justice. We commend the FBI and the HHS-OIG for their diligent and thorough investigation in this case.”
The DOJ stated that Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher E. Cotton will be tasked with prosecuting this case. These charges are slated to be presented to a grand jury at a later date to determine an indictment against Robinson.
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While federal investigators are finding proverbial “dirt” on Democratic senators – other senators from the same political thread are saying they do not want the feds in their city.
The City of Chicago has seen a drastic increase of violent crime, up by 50% since this time last year.
On July 21st alone, Chicago saw 14 people shot while attending the funeral of a man who had been killed in another drive by shooting last week. These 14 shootings follow another bloody weekend, in which the city had 63 people who were shot, 12 of those died from their injuries.
Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took to twitter saying:
“Far too many have suffered. Far too many have attended funerals and tried to start the process of healing entire communities following another senseless tragedy. When a person picks up a gun, we suffer as a city. This cannot be who we are. We cannot give shelter to killers. People know who are responsible.”
While families were mourning at a funeral in Auburn Gresham, cowardly gunmen opened fire, wounding 14 in a horrific mass shooting. @Chicago_Police are canvassing for evidence and street outreach teams have been deployed to provide trauma and victim support services for residents.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 22, 2020
After reading that statement, it would be logical that any help and assistance offered would be gladly received.
However, Democratic Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth has a message for President Trump:
“don’t even think about it.”
Duckworth told CNN:
“My answer to him is don’t even think about it. This is disgusting, and it is the further politicization of our institutions, which should be nonpartisan. He did it with the military when he sent National Guard troops against peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square [in Washington, DC], and now he’s done it in Portland and he’s coming to Chicago. Don’t even think about it.”
Lightfoot also does not believe that sending in federal police to help stop the violence will be helpful.
In a video on her Twitter account, in response to President’s promise to send police there, she is quoted as saying:
“that’s not democracy. That’s what we call tyranny, and dictatorship, and we are not having it in Chicago.”
Apparently, the idea that Federal Police that are coming in to mop up the mess that the leadership of that city has allowed to flourish, makes President Trump a dictator.
— The Recount (@therecount) July 22, 2020
Duckworth believes that the only help the President should provide is working on gun safety proposals from the Democrats. Their desire is to have stronger background checks, and work towards the illegal buying of firearms for those not licensed.
Chicago has some of the more stricter gun laws in the country, requiring that anyone wishing to purchase any type of firearm must have a license or permit to do so. They also, like many other states, have a waiting period built in to any legal firearm sale.
According to NPR, The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a group which keeps tabs on gun laws, gave Illinois a solid B+. Therefore, if putting an end to the gun violence in Chicago can be done by enacting more gun laws, why is the gun violence so high there?
Although Duckworth’s intensions to address gun laws may or may not help the city of Chicago in the future, that will not stop the current chaos taking place in the streets right now. The denial of President Trumps assistance is counterproductive for the city, and is just a ploy to allow the violence to continue.
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