Case against state Sen. Katrina Robinson and codefendants dismissed following pre-trial diversion

·2 min read
Katrina Robinson walks into a press conference following her conviction on wire fraud charges on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn.
Katrina Robinson walks into a press conference following her conviction on wire fraud charges on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the resolution of this case. Following the defendant's agreement to a pre-trial diversion program, federal Judge Sheryl Lipman dismissed the case against state Sen. Katrina Robinson, Katie Ayers, and Brooke Boudreaux.

A federal fraud case against Tennessee state Sen. Katrina Robinson and two codefendants where prosecutors alleged instances of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering was dismissed, according to records.

Robinson and two associates, Katie Ayers and Brooke Boudreaux, will enter a pre-trial diversion program for the charges — an alternative to prosecution. Defendants agree to a certain period of supervision and services.

All three agreed to a 12-month supervisory period that allows them to attend school or work while reporting to a supervisory agent. The trial for the three defendants was scheduled for January, court records show.

Robinson was indicted in two cases relating to misuse of federal funds through her for-profit vocational school, The Healthcare Institute. The school provides degrees and certifications related to the nursing profession.

Robinson, Ayers, and Boudreaux were charged in January 2021.

The dismissal ties up one case in which Robinson is the defendant; sentencing in a separate case is still pending.

In September, Robinson was found guilty of four of five counts of fraud. She was initially served a 48-count indictment in West Tennessee's federal court system; prosecutors said the state senator misappropriated some $600,000 in financial aid meant for scholarships.

September trial: Tennessee state Sen. Katrina Robinson found guilty in federal fraud trial

The 48-count indictment was reduced to 20 counts at the start of the trial. Halfway through, federal Judge Sheryl Lipman dismissed 15 of the 20 remaining counts. In explaining her decision to acquit Robinson of the charges, Lipman said the government changed strategies over the course of calling witnesses in a way that would have likely resulted in a mistrial.

Ultimately, the four counts a jury found Robinson guilty of represented less than $3,500 in misused funds. She faces sentencing for those charges Jan. 20, 2022.

Robinson still holds her state senate seat representing portions of South Memphis.

Micaela Watts is a reporter for The Commercial Appeal and can be reached at micaela.watts@commercialappeal.com.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Katrina Robinson codefendants enter diversion program in fraud case

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