MEMPHIS, Tenn. — State Sen. Katrina Robinson was found guilty of four of five counts of wire fraud Thursday afternoon.
In a press conference after the verdict, Robinson said she maintains that she was totally innocent and was targeted for prosecution.
“First, let me say that I entered this process knowing that I am innocent and still I maintain that I am innocent,” Robinson said.
Robinson and her attorneys said the fight isn’t over. Her attorneys said they intend to file a motion for a new trial.
Robinson was facing federal wire fraud charges after she was accused of stealing $600,000 from The Healthcare Institute, a certified nursing school she founded, and spending the money on personal expenses.
A jury did not return a guilty verdict on one more count.
The trial lasted nearly three weeks. Hours of testimony covered years of bank and federal grant records.
Robinson herself took the stand Tuesday and told the jury she had been wrongly accused.
“I have been wrongly accused,” Robinson said. “I have been dragged through the mud by the federal government, when the federal government knew good and well that I did not do that.”
One of those alternate jurors had to step in Thursday after another juror was sick.
Robinson was originally facing 20 counts. Earlier this week, a federal judge acquitted her of 15 of those counts, saying there was evidence that matched to the government’s different theories and that switching theories could have resulted in a mistrial.
Robinson saying she’s grateful the judge acquitted her of those 15 charges, some of those relating to theft and embezzlement.
“Of what was once a 48 count indictment alleging that I stole $600,000 from the government but ending in five counts alleging that I stole $3,484 from my own business,” Robinson said.
Robinson’s attorneys said they were disappointed with the verdict. Her attorney, Lawrence Laurenzi, said he felt the burden fell on their shoulders to prove her innocence.
Robinson said THI is “still maintaining.”
“We’re still graduating nurses and nursing assistants, and we still have the support of people that want opportunity,” Robinson said.
The Memphis Democrat said she has not made a decision on how to move forward regarding her state Senate seat, though she said she remained committed to her district.
Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, a Republican representing the Oak Ridge area, called on Robinson to step down.
“While Senator Robinson’s convictions did not stem from actions taken while in office, they are nevertheless very serious. As public servants, we are held to a higher standard. My personal opinion is that it would be in the best interest of the state and her constituents for Senator Robinson to step down at this time,” McNally said in a statement.
Her sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday, January 5.