Skip to main content
Press Release

Woman Convicted of $7M COVID-19 Relief Fraud

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A federal jury in the Northern District of Georgia convicted a Georgia attorney and former City of Atlanta police officer yesterday of fraudulently obtaining over $7 million in loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

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. 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 jury convicted Robertson of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of money laundering. She is scheduled to be sentenced on April 11, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, and a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for money laundering. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Robertson is the second defendant to be convicted as part of the Justice Department’s prosecution of an approximately $15 million PPP fraud conspiracy. Robertson’s co-conspirator pleaded guilty prior to trial. 

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri 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 U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General (SBA-OIG), Acting Inspector General Tyler Smith of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG), and Acting Inspector General Heather Hill of the U.S. 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 are prosecuting the case.

The Fraud Section leads the Criminal Division’s prosecution of fraud schemes that exploit the PPP. Since the inception of the CARES Act, the Fraud Section has prosecuted over 200 defendants in more than 130 criminal cases and has seized over $78 million in cash proceeds derived from fraudulently obtained PPP funds, as well as numerous real estate properties and luxury items purchased with such proceeds. More information can be found at

In May 2021 the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Justice Department in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The task force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the department’s response to the pandemic, please visit

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at

Updated December 21, 2023

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 23-1463