Phoenix cop’s $ 1.2 million PPP loan fraud has links to other cases

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PHOENIX – ABC15 investigators have found links between the federal bank fraud case against a former Phoenix cop and four other Paycheck Protection Program loan fraud cases filed the same day.

Toni Richardson resigned from the Phoenix Police Department this month after her arrest on charges of conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering. She is accused of creating fraudulent documents and lying about the number of employees of a company called The Lotto Club.

According to the federal indictment, Richardson had no employees or payroll for the company when she applied and received more than $ 1.2 million in federal loans in February.

The indictment claims that Richardson then deposited some of the money into a separate bank account that she controlled.

Richardson’s co-accused Willie “Blu” Mitchell faces similar charges for The Lotto Club and three other companies: Sigma Cuts School of Beauty, Sigma Cuts Medical Training Academy and UCCAN!

One of Mitchell’s co-defendants in the two Sigma Cuts cases is Sean Swaringer. Swaringer and his wife, Vanessa, are also indicted in a PPP loan case for a company called Cryotherapy for Veterans.

Of the five PPP loan fraud cases filed in Arizona on November 23, six defendants are charged with defrauding banks totaling $ 7.4 million in PPP loans.

The money in the program was aimed at helping small businesses stay open and retain their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ABC15 attempted to reach the defendants in these cases at several business addresses, homes and telephone numbers on Friday. We were unable to reach them for comment.

It is still unclear whether the six defendants knew each other personally or if their cases are more loosely linked by common defendants.

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