MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Friday concludes the first full week of the trial for Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson. A special agent with the FBI, a makeup artist and a credit union employee were just some of the witnesses who testified.
Flanked by her defense team, WREG caught Robinson as she walked into the federal building for her final day of trial this week. Robinson’s team remains quiet now after a judge ordered her and all attorneys involved in the case not to speak to the media about the trial.
But Robinson and her lawyers have maintained she did nothing wrong, and that the hundreds of thousands of federal dollars she’s accused of stealing was really hers to spend.
First to take the stand Friday morning was an FBI agent who handled a search warrant at Celebrity Body Studio, a business Robinson is accused of starting with the grant money. It was located just a few doors down from her school The Healthcare Institute off Winchester.
The agent said his team was looking for any documents related to Robinson, the school or equipment that might’ve been purchased with school funds. They took a printer and a television.
A makeup artist who did Robinson’s and her wedding party’s makeup back in 2016 also testified about the more than $1,100 she received for her work. Wedding costs are listed in an indictment as one of the ways Robinson illegally spent taxpayer money.
An employee with Methodist Healthcare Federal Credit Union also took the stand. She went over the tens of thousands of dollars of bi-weekly payroll deposits made into Robinson’s checking and savings account from The Healthcare Institute in 2017 and 2018.
She also detailed a $15,000 loan Robinson took out in 2015, the year the school was founded. The defense made the point Robinson never tried to hide where money was coming from when making the deposits.
When questioned by defense, the witness said she didn’t know if Robinson used the loan to start her business, but “if she had stated her purpose to open a business that wouldn’t have been allowed” because they don’t do business loans.
Prosecutors told the judge they could potentially rest their case late next week, which fits the schedule of the trial potentially lasting three weeks.