Steve Harvey's Co-Host Allegedly Facilitated Her Husband's $750K Fraud Scheme

BYGabriel Bras Nevares307.0K Views
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Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr., Steve Harvey, Big Boy and Local Ministers Address Compton High School Students & Faculty
L to R, Big Boy, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., Dominique DiPrima, Steve Harvey and Shirley Strawberry (Photo by Maury Phillips/WireImage/Getty Images)
Shirley Strawberry is not connected to this case and might have been duped herself, but her celebrity status could've been a factor.

Shirley Strawberry is best known for her hosting gig alongside Steve Harvey on their morning show, something that her husband allegedly took advantage of. Moreover, a Fulton County Grand Jury indicted Earnest Williams on April 23 based on 39 counts of fraud, as he allegedly scammed over 25 individuals (reportedly, mostly women) out of over $750K in total. Apparently, he pretended to be a successful businessman and stole property, vehicles, services, money, and goods from his targets. Not only that, but reports also allege that Williams used romantic trickery or intimacy, physical or emotional, to carry out these fraud-centered schemes.

Furthermore, many assumed that part of Earnest Williams' scams supposedly occurred thanks to his marriage to Shirley Strawberry, although not in the way you might assume. She was reportedly never a part of these schemes, at least in the Fulton County indictment, but their celebrity status could've propelled his allegedly tall tales. Not only that, but court documents claim that Williams married Steve Harvey's cohost with full knowledge that he would use it for nefarious purposes. "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," Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis expressed to WSB-TV on Thursday (May 30).

Steve Harvey's Cohost Roped Into Her Husband's Alleged Fraud Scheme

Apparently, Earnest Williams also had co-conspirators during this whole decade-plus-long scheme, including Erica King. Also known as Ericka Hughley or Ericka Hughley Rothschild, he allegedly asked her to trick law enforcement and court systems by fraudulently assuming the identities of licensed Georgia attorneys, including false and fraudulent representation of him in hearings. Of the 39 charges against Williams in this Georgia RICO case, authorities listed King as a co-conspirator on 19 of them. Roswell police arrested them both in October of 2023.

Later on, the grand jury decided to indict both individuals under the RICO act, as Fani Willis told news outlets. According to court records, Earnest Williams' public defender Shawn Hoover filed a plea agreement for his client on April 26. While they scheduled a hearing for this arrangement for this Wednesday (May 29) according to reports, the court did not reveal whether the parties agreed to a decision. Five fraud counts exceed $24,999 in value, and thus could lead to two to 20-year sentence if found guilty. On the other hand, ten fraud counts are under $25,000, which could constitute one to ten years in jail.

About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.