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Former Atlanta assistant city attorney sentenced to prison for PPP fraud

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(The Center Square) — A federal judge has sentenced a former assistant Atlanta city attorney to prison following her conviction on charges she fraudulently applied for and received Paycheck Protection Program loans.

In December, a jury convicted Shelitha Robertson, 62, of Atlanta, of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of money laundering and three counts of wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Steven D. Grimberg sentenced Robertson to seven years and three months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

According to the feds, Robertson, a former assistant city attorney and Atlanta police officer, and co-conspirators submitted PPP loan applications for four of her businesses. The applications inflated details about the businesses’ average monthly payroll and how many people it employed, leading to larger PPP loans than Robertson was entitled to receive, the feds said.

Robertson and a co-conspirator, identified in a news release as Chandra Norton, also submitted false tax documents to support the inflated statements. Robertson transferred funds to Norton and family members and used the loans to buy luxury items, such as a 10-carat diamond ring, prosecutors said.

“Motivated by greed, Robertson deceptively obtained funds that were designated to provide emergency financial relief to struggling small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic,” U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said in a statement.

The New York Post, citing campaign filings, reported Robertson donated $1,000 to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s Democratic primary election campaign at roughly the same time she received the PPP loans.

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