Atlanta Prosecutor Sentenced for Embezzling COVID Relief Funds

 June 9, 2024

An Atlanta legal professional faced stringent justice for severe financial fraud involving pandemic aid.

Shelitha Robertson, the former Assistant City Attorney of Atlanta and ex-police officer, was sentenced to over seven years for misappropriating around $15 million from COVID-19 relief funds to finance her luxurious lifestyle.

According to Daily Mail, Robertson, aged 62, portrayed herself as a proponent of moral values on her widely-followed podcast "Mommy & Me," which she co-hosted with her daughter, Brii Renee. The podcast engaged about 300,000 listeners and often featured discussions on life ethics and the importance of hard work.

This public portrayal starkly contrasted with her actions, as she admitted in court to fraudulent dealings that funded her extravagant acquisitions, including a 10-carat diamond ring and a luxury Rolls Royce vehicle.

Details of the Fraudulent Scheme

Investigations revealed that Robertson claimed fictitious ownership of four businesses, deceitfully reporting over 400 employees to qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. This program was originally designed to aid small businesses during the havoc caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan highlighted that her actions were driven by greed, impacting genuine small business owners who desperately needed these funds to survive the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

Legal Repercussions and Sentencing

The deliberations concluded with Robertson being convicted of both conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. She will face seven years and three months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, completing her sentence as she approaches her 70th birthday.

U.S. District Judge Steven D. Grimberg underscored the severity of her crimes, noting her confident involvement in the scale of the fraud, which ultimately led to her downfall.

In court, just before her sentencing, Robertson expressed profound regret, acknowledging the totality of her losses: "I'm dead broke. My business is gone. My [law] license is gone. My assets are gone. The only thing I have left is my family and my faith in God."

Community and Family Responses

The community and her listeners have expressed shock and disappointment, given her prior stance on integrity, which she preached on her podcast.

Meanwhile, her daughter Brii Renee still showed support, celebrating her mother's past efforts and personal sacrifice despite the recent revelations. This indicates a complex layer of personal and familial dynamics influenced by Robertson’s actions.

The response of her family juxtaposed with the public's reaction paints a complex picture of Robertson's character, who oscillates between a supportive maternal figure and a convicted felon.

As Robertson awaits her prison term, her case is a stark reminder of the severe consequences of misusing critical relief measures intended to aid those in genuine need during unprecedented times. The legal and public narrative will likely continue to evolve as her incarceration begins and her former listeners and supporters reconcile her on-air advice with her off-court actions.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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