A former Phoenix police officer resigned and was arrested amid charges of PPP loan fraud.
former officer Toni Richardson faces charges after allegedly tampering with a loan application for the Paycheck Protection Program. She was able to secure more than $ 1.2 million in government loans for a company that had no employees, federal prosecutors said.
Richardson used the money for personal expenses, according to The Republic of Arizona. She and co-conspirator Willie mitchell face federal charges of conspiracy, bank fraud and transactional money laundering, KPHO-TV reports.
The couple described their business, called “The Lotto Club”, as a non-profit organization for veterans. Richardson was listed as a 100% owner and claimed to have around 85 employees with “an average monthly payroll totaling over $ 500,000 on demand as of February 2021,” the Republic reports.
Richardson and Mitchell intended to use “retain workers, maintain payroll, make mortgage interest payments, lease payments, and utility payments.”
Prosecutors allege that Richardson and Mitchell transferred the money to their personal accounts and made several withdrawals.
Richardson was arrested by the FBI on December 1 and has pleaded not guilty to all counts. She was reportedly released on her own contract.
“The ministry was made aware of the circumstances surrounding the arrest and immediately began the process of dismissal,” said the staff sergeant. Andy williamsa spokesperson for the Phoenix Police Department said in a statement.
“The employee presented a letter of resignation before the official dismissal. The City of Phoenix takes allegations of criminal conduct by our employees very seriously. The alleged actions of this employee go against the core values of the city and everything we stand for as public servants.
Richardson’s next hearing date has been set for February 1, 2022.
The paycheck protection program is part of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) law. It was created to help small businesses pay their employees and keep their business going during the coronavirus pandemic that has kept much of America in its grip.
Richardson isn’t the only one making the headlines about P3 loan fraud. In September, a Florida business owner was arrested and charged after fraudulently receiving $ 2 million in COVID-19 relief funds and using nearly 700,000 to buy a 40-foot boat.
Love and hip-hop Atlanta Star, Arkansas Mo (born Maurice fayne), was charged in May with federal bank fraud after investigators discovered he had used funds from a $ 2 million paycheck protection program loan to purchase luxury items for him- same.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fayne ran a multi-state program that defrauded more than 20 people over seven years. He told investors he was going to use their money to run a trucking business. However, according to investigators, Fayne used the money to fund his extravagant lifestyle.
In September he was sentenced to 17 years in prison, leGrio reported.
This article contains additional reports from Biba Adams of Grio.
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