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9 Valley residents illegally obtained $23M in pandemic relief, prosecutors say

The defendants are accused of misusing funds obtained through the Paycheck Protection Program on purchasing vehicles, properties, and other luxurious items.

PHOENIX — Nine Valley residents have been recently indicted on federal charges of fraudulently obtaining pandemic relief money and spending it on luxurious items. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office of Arizona announced Friday it had obtained indictments against nine Arizonans who allegedly received about $23 million through the government's Paycheck Protection Program, a fund set up during the pandemic to help struggling businesses. 

The nine defendants allegedly spent the PPP money on cars, properties, and luxurious items.

Jason Coleman, 40, and Kimberly Coleman, 38, of Mesa are accused of filing PPP loan applications on behalf of 18 businesses and allegedly received more than $13 million in PPP funds. The couple allegedly applied to receive between $100,000 and $2.2. million for each company. 

The Colemans have been indicted on charges that include conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud, and transactional money laundering.

Seven other defendants allegedly conspired to obtain more than $10 million in PPP funds. The other defendants include:

  • Willie Mitchell aka Blu Mitchell, 40, of Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Jason Nolte, 39, of Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Sean Swaringer, 56, of Peoria, Arizona.
  • Vanessa Swaringer, 54, of Peoria, Arizona.
  • Toni Richardson, 52, of Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Keenya Williams, 40, of Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Darrell Lieteau, 56, of Phoenix, Arizona.

Richardson is a former Phoenix police officer who resigned shortly after the FBI began investigating her business practices. The Swaringers were indicted for a PPP loan application involving a company called Cryotherapy for Veterans. 

RELATED: Former Phoenix cop arrested for alleged PPP fraud

ALSO: Valley veteran battles state for benefits after identity theft

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