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Former Phoenix cop pleads guilty to fraud, ordered to pay $1M in restitution

Toni Richardson, formerly of the Phoenix Police Department, admitted to fraudulently obtaining money through the Paycheck Protection Program.

PHOENIX — A former Phoenix police officer has pleaded guilty to bank fraud and been ordered to pay over $1 million restitution, court records show.

Toni Richardson, who resigned from the Phoenix Police Department last year, has recently been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison after admitting to conspiring to fraudulently obtain funds through the Paycheck Protection Program. 

The former officer was arrested last year for submitting a fraudulent application to receive financial assistance from the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Richardson and a co-defendant filed the application on behalf of an entity called The Lotto Club, which they claimed employed over 80 people and had a monthly payroll of $510,000. 

In reality, The Lotto Club actually had zero employees wasn't conducting any business at the time the PPP application was filed, court documents show.

Prosecutors say the defendants improperly spent the $1.2 million they were allocated through the government program.

As a result of the plea deal, Richardson has been ordered to pay over $1 million in restitution to the U.S. Small Business Administration. The defendant will also be placed on probation for three years after she completes her prison term.

Phoenix police were quick to condemn Richardson's actions after the officer was arrested last year.

"The city of Phoenix takes allegations of criminal conduct by our employees very seriously," the city wrote in a statement last year. "The alleged actions of this employee go against the core values of the city and everything we stand for as public servants."

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