The Democratic former assistant city attorney for Atlanta has been found guilty by a federal jury after she defrauded a COVID pandemic-era stimulus program of millions of dollars.
Shelitha Robertson, 62, faces potentially spending the rest of her life in prison after jurors last week found she defrauded the federal government out of over $7 million by taking advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program.
According to the Department of Justice, Robertson inflated the number of employees she had for several businesses she owned.
She also doctored payroll and tax documents in order to obtain cash from the program, which went into effect during the onset of the pandemic to prevent some businesses from going under.
The DOJ outlined how Robertson defrauded the government and what she used much of the money for.
According to the federal government, Robertson, a former police officer, lived a lavish lifestyle on the backs of taxpayers.
A DOJ news release states:
“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. Robertson used the loan proceeds to purchase luxury items, including a 10-carat diamond ring, and to transfer funds to family members and her co-conspirator.”
The diamond ring was valued at $148,000.
Robertson also gave tens of thousands of dollars to her daughter — who has not been charged — and withdrew thousands in cash.
Meanwhile, Robertson’s personal attorney, Chandra Norton, received $400,000 in cash and pleaded guilty to being part of the scheme in a separate trial, prosecutors said.
The Journal-Constitution reported Robertson threatened to kill Norton when she was arrested.
The duo concocted the fraud together.
Jurors found Robertson guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of money laundering.
She faces up to 20 years in prison for each charge of wire fraud and conspiracy conviction and 10 years for the money laundering conviction.
Robertson will be sentenced on April 11.
Bernita Malloy, who prosecuted Robertson, slammed her in court for the brazen nature of her crimes in a comment obtained by the Journal-Constitution.
“There’s no level to which (Robertson) wouldn’t stoop to justify her criminal conduct,” Malloy said during her closing remarks. “She disguised what she did to avoid getting caught. She thought she could wash her hands of it all.”
Robertson’s jury was made up of seven men and five women who convicted her after only 13 hours of deliberation over two days.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.