Shirley Strawberry divorced husband is charged in a RICO case with defrauding victims out of $750,000 by pretending to be a radio host

Shirley Strawberry is a co-host of Steve Harvey’s radio show. A Georgia man is suspected of marrying her falsely and exploiting her celebrity to swindle over 25 people out of over $750,000.

According to court filings, a Fulton County Grand Jury on April 23 indicted Earnest Williams, 57, also known as “Nesto,” on 39 counts of fraud. According to the accusation, Williams participated in racketeering operations in Georgia and other states between December 1, 2009, and June 30, 2022.

Williams purportedly stole from victims, mostly women, by posing as a prosperous businessman and offering support for business endeavors, brand development, and image building. Fani Willis, the district attorney for Fulton County, characterized him as a con man who used love connections and deceitful promises to trick his victims.

Williams’s strategies relied heavily on his marriage to Shirley Strawberry in January 2015. According to the documents, he married Strawberry on false pretenses, utilizing her notoriety to support his frauds. Williams was already married to someone else, and Willis disclosed that Strawberry was not aware of his lie.

In order to fool law enforcement and the courts, Williams allegedly enlisted accomplices, such as Erica King, also known as Ericka Hughley or Ericka Hughley Rothschild, who pretended to be an attorney. There are 39 charges against Williams, and 19 of them name 46-year-old King as a co-conspirator.

Under the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, Williams is facing significant accusations. Shawn Hoover, Williams’ public defender, entered a plea deal on April 26 for Williams, according to court documents. The plea deal hearing was set, but the court hasn’t posted a ruling.

Williams is charged with five charges of fraud totaling more than $24,999, which carries a possible two- to 20-year sentence. Ten further charges with fines under $25,000 carry a potential one-to-ten-year imprisonment. Williams is being kept at the Cobb County prison as he waits for his next, unscheduled court date.

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