Shirley Strawberry (L) and Ernesto Williams attend the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on May 22, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Alliance for Women in Media )

Fulton County District Attorney’s office has hit Shirley Strawberry’s estranged husband, Earnest (Ernesto) Williams with RICO charges.

From 2009 to 2022, Williams allegedly turned deception into an art form, bilking victims out of cash, cars, and more, all while posing as a legitimate businessman. 

The grand jury’s recent indictment under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act is just the latest twist in this outrageous tale.

“He’s been conning people since 2009 to 2022,” DA Fani Willis told Channel 2 Action News in an exclusive interview. 

“He would pretend to be a legitimate businessman, but he was stealing from people, in United States currency, vehicles, and really just talking advantage of people.”

One of the more shocking allegations involves Williams fraudulently marrying Shirley Strawberry, the beloved co-host of the “Steve Harvey Morning Show.” 

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The indictment suggests Williams used this high-profile relationship to enhance his façade of success and scam even more victims. 

“To create this impression of some level of success and used that to scam other people,” Deputy District Attorney Will Wooten explained.

Documents reveal a juicy detail: Strawberry wasn’t the only wife in Williams’ life. 

“We believe she met a man, fell in love and married him, and the truth is at the time he was already married to someone else,” said Willis. 

For twelve long years, Williams allegedly swindled at least 25 victims out of more than $750,000. 

His method? An audacious mix of issuing bad checks and simply not returning vehicles. 

We’re talking personal vehicles, motorcycles, coach buses, and more. Imagine lending your RV to a friend and never seeing it again because he wasn’t a friend at all!

Wooten elaborated on Williams’ modus operandi: 

Earnest Williams often created this impression of a close relationship or a romantic relationship with many of these victims, used those relationships to take money, vehicles, vehicle trailers, RVs, and other property from them.

Adding another layer to the deception was Williams’ alleged co-conspirator, Ericka King

She’s accused of impersonating an attorney in court hearings, adding a legal twist to their con game. 

Ericka King, Earnest ‘Ernesto’ King

Clearly, these two were a match made in fraud heaven.

Most of Williams’ victims are women, and the DA believes there are more out there. If you feel you’ve been swindled by Williams, the Fulton County DA’s office wants to hear from you. 

They’re requesting any potential victims to email them at

Meanwhile, Channel 2 Action News reached out to Earnest Williams’ public defenders for a comment, but unsurprisingly, they declined. 

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Source: WSB-TV

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