July 21, 2024

Atlanta Attorney Fraudulently Took $7 Million In PPP Loans, Purchased Barbie-Color Bentley

Georgia attorney and former City of Atlanta police officer Shelitha Robertson has been convicted of a fraudulent scheme to obtain over $7 million in loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). According to court documents and evidence presented during the trial, Robertson, a 62-year-old Atlanta resident, conspired to submit fraudulent PPP loan applications on behalf of four businesses that she owned. The applications contained inflated numbers of employees and exaggerated average monthly payroll figures, which enabled Robertson to secure significantly larger PPP loans than she was legitimately entitled to receive, according to the Department of Justice.

To further support these false claims, Robertson and a co-conspirator submitted fabricated tax documents. Instead of using the funds for their intended purpose of aiding struggling businesses during the pandemic, Robertson diverted the loan proceeds for personal enrichment. Among the luxury items she acquired were a Rolls-Royce, a motorcycle, and a 10-carat diamond ring for $148,000, Newsweek reported. On social media the story has gone viral with some noting–though not confirmed– that she had also purchased a Barbie pink-colored Bentley. Robertson did transfer some of the funds to family members and her co-conspirator.

A federal jury convicted Robertson on multiple charges, including one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of money laundering. Her sentencing is scheduled for April 11, 2024. If convicted on all counts, she could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, as well as a maximum of 10 years in prison for money laundering, Fox News Atlanta reported.

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Her co-conspirator had previously pleaded guilty to the charges before the trial. The total PPP fraud amount, according to authorities, was approximately $15 million.

Shelitha Robertson, photo via ALMLaw.com, https://www.law.com/dailyreportonline/almID/1202656283324/ Photo by Howard R.: https://www.pexels.com/photo/glossy-rolls-royce-figurine-5804275/

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