Former Atlanta Attorney, Police Officer Shelitha Robertson Sentenced To Over 7 Years For $15 Million PPP Loan Fraud

In a recent legal development, former Atlanta attorney and police officer Shelitha Robertson has been sentenced to seven years and three months in federal prison for her role in defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

Robinson, 62, was convicted of stealing approximately $15 million from the government-assisted program intended to provide financial relief to struggling small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia announced the sentence following Robertson’s Dec. 19, 2023, conviction.

A jury found Robertson guilty on multiple charges, including one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of money laundering. U.S. District Judge Steven D. Grimberg also ordered Robertson to serve three years of supervised release following her seven year prison term. Robertson’s sentence will be reduced by the six months she has already spent in custody since her conviction. 

U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan condemned Robertson’s actions, stating, “Motivated by greed, Robertson deceptively obtained funds that were designated to provide emergency financial relief to struggling small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute criminals who stole pandemic relief funds.”

Robertson’s fraudulent activities involved submitting false tax documents and making false statements for four companies listed in the PPP loan applications. The illicitly obtained funds were used to purchase luxury items, including a 10-carat diamond ring. 

Additionally, Shelitha Robertson transferred significant amounts of money to her co-conspirator, Chandra Norton, and various family members.

In court, Robertson expressed remorse and highlighted the personal consequences of her actions. “I’m dead broke. My business is gone. My [law] license is gone. My assets are gone. The only thing I have left is my family and my faith in God,” she stated hours before her sentencing, as reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Paycheck Protection Program was part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, designed to provide emergency financial support to small businesses during the pandemic. Robertson’s case is one among many, with authorities seizing over $78 million in cash proceeds from more than 192 defendants in over 121 criminal cases involving fraudulently obtained PPP funds. These actions also involved the confiscation of numerous real estate properties and luxury items purchased with the stolen money.

This case exemplifies law enforcement’s determination to crack down on pandemic-related fraud and ensure that individuals who misuse emergency relief programs for personal gain are held accountable.

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