A Fulton County attorney and former police officer has been convicted of fraudulently obtaining over $7 million in loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Shelitha Robertson, a frequent Democrat candidate for local office, allegedly used the funds to purchase luxury items, including a 10-carat diamond ring, a Rolls Royce, and a motorcycle.
The PPP was an SBA-backed loan that helped businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A federal jury in the Northern District of Georgia on Wednesday convicted Robertson of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of money laundering, according to a Department of Justice press release.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Shelitha Robertson, 62, of Atlanta, conspired to submit PPP loan applications on behalf of four businesses she owned. The loan applications falsely inflated the number of employees and average monthly payroll for each of the four businesses, inducing larger PPP loans than Robertson could legitimately obtain. Robertson and a co-conspirator also caused the submission of false tax documents to support the false statements in each loan application.
In addition to using the loans to buy luxury items, Robertson transferred funds to family members and her co-conspirator, Chandra Nelson, according to the DOJ.
Robertson was a police officer in Atlanta for ten years and has also worked as an assistant city attorney.
She has run for office as a Democrat several times, most recently in the special election for Georgia’s 55th State House District, which she lost.
She also ran in 2014 for Fulton County Superior Court Judge, losing to Jane Barwick by a vote of 63 percent to 37 percent. Robertson also ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2010 and lost a bid for Atlanta City Council in 2009.
Robertson is the second defendant to be convicted as part of a DOJ investigation into an approximately $15 million PPP fraud conspiracy.
Chandra Nelson, Robertson’s former attorney, pleaded guilty in a separate prosecution prior to trial.