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Press Release

Georgia Attorney and Former Atlanta Police Officer Sentenced for $15M COVID-19 Relief Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Georgia attorney and former City of Atlanta police officer was sentenced today to seven years and three months in prison for conspiring to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of approximately $15 million. 

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Shelitha Robertson, 62, of Atlanta, conspired with Chandra Norton to submit fraudulent PPP loan applications on behalf of businesses that Robertson and Norton each owned. The fraudulent loan applications falsely inflated the number of employees and average monthly payroll for each of the applicant businesses and included false supporting tax documentation, inducing larger PPP loans than Robertson or Norton could legitimately obtain. Robertson and Norton submitted fraudulent applications on behalf of four businesses Robertson owned, resulting in $7,020,779 in PPP funds deposited into bank accounts Robertson owned and controlled. Robertson then used the loan proceeds for her personal benefit, including purchasing luxury items, such as a 10-carat diamond ring, and transferring funds to family members and to Norton.

A federal jury convicted Robertson in December 2023 of on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of money laundering. Norton pleaded guilty in November 2020 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 14.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan for the Northern District of Georgia; Inspector General Hannibal “Mike” Ware of the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General (SBA-OIG); Inspector General Jennifer L. Fain of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG); and Acting Inspector General Heather M. Hill of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) made the announcement.

The SBA-OIG, FDIC-OIG, and TIGTA investigated the case.

Trial Attorney Ariel Glasner of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bernita Malloy for the Northern District of Georgia prosecuted the case.

Updated June 7, 2024

Topic
Public Corruption
Press Release Number: 24-721