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Former Atlanta city attorney sentenced to 7 years in prison for stealing $15 million in PPP funds

In World
June 08, 2024

A former City of Atlanta assistant attorney and Atlanta police officer, Shelitha Robertson, 62, has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison after she stole about $15 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans from the government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robertson and other co-conspirators got the loans on behalf of four businesses she owned and controlled, the Department of Justice said in a news release Friday.

“The loan applications falsely inflated the number of employees and average monthly payroll for each of the four businesses, resulting in larger PPP loans than Robertson would be legitimately entitled to obtain. Robertson and her co-conspirator, Chandra Norton, also submitted false tax documents to support the inflated statements in each loan application,” the DOJ said.

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Robertson used the money she got from the loans to buy luxury items, including a 10-carat diamond ring. The DOJ said she also transferred some of the money to other family members and her co-conspirator, Chandra Norton.

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

A jury convicted Robertson of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering on December 19, 2023. The judge sentenced her to seven years and three months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

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