You would think some people, because of their careers and expertise, would know the difference between right and wrong! Shelitha Robertson had previously served as an assistant city attorney and as a police officer for the City of Atlanta before going into her own business. She ran a company that had been awarded a multimillion-dollar water and sewer infrastructure contract from the metropolitan Atlanta district. She knew the law and she was respected in the community. But that didn’t stop her from filing for over $15 million in fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loans. Although she claims it wasn’t her fault.
Robertson actually blamed her bad decisions on her business partner Chandra Norton, arguing that Norton was “financially desperate” and an “evil genius” who used Robertson’s personal and business information to enrich herself. Shelitha Robertson, have you ever heard that when you throw someone under the bus, make sure you aren’t standing on the sidewalk as the bus drives by? In November of 2020, business partner Chandra Norton pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud with the promise to cooperate with the federal government against Robertson.
Evidence was overwhelmingly against Robertson anyway. Of the $7 million that Robertson had illicitly gained, she only gave Norton $400,000. Robertson spent the majority of the fraudulent funds on extravagant purchases, including a Rolls-Royce, a motorcycle, and a 10-carat diamond ring for $148,000. Despite all the evidence, when she was arrested, Robertson had threatened to kill Norton. Robertson said those comments were made in frustration. She didn’t mean it. But she did mean to commit fraud.
On December 19, 2023, a federal found Robertson guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of money laundering.
Great job by the Small Business Administration in this case.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Democrat Attorney Caught Committing Fraud to Buy Rolls-Royce” published by Newsweek on December 21, 2023
A Georgia attorney has been convicted of defrauding the federal government of more than $7 million in Paycheck Protection Program funds.
Prosecutors said Shelitha Robertson, 62, of Atlanta, Georgia, falsely inflated the number of employees and average monthly payroll for each of her four businesses on PPP loan applications in order to obtain the federal aid, which was aimed at keeping small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.