Toni Richardson, a former Phoenix police officer is currently being prosecuted after being accused of getting involved in a fraudulent scheme, specifically, faking a loan application for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for her personal gains, according to the report.
The said Paycheck Protection Program provides financial assistance; and is a significant part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The program was established to give a helping hand to small businesses to pay their employees and keep their businesses unfazed amidst the global health crisis brought by COVID-19.
Federal prosecutors released a statement saying that Richardson obtained more than $1.2 million in government loans and some amount was used to augment her personal expenditures, as reported by the Arizona Republic. In the midst of this controversy, Richardson filed her resignation and had been arrested by those in authority.
She will be facing federal charges of conspiracy, bank fraud, and transactional money laundering alongside Willie Mitchell, who as well took part in the activity.
According to them, their business called “The Lotto Club” is a nonprofit organization intended for the benefit of the veterans and has about 85 employees whose average payroll per month totaled over $500,000 on the application in February this year, as what the listed owner, Richardson, would claim.
Richardson and Mitchell aim to “retain workers, maintain payroll, make mortgage interest payments, lease payments and utility payments.” However, prosecutors claim that Richardson and Mitchell deposited the money to their personal accounts instead and made several withdrawals.
On December 1, Richardson was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) but has later pleaded not guilty on all cylinders and was reportedly released on her own recognizance.
Sgt. Andy Williams, the spokesperson for the Phoenix Police Department, has divulged, “The department was notified of the circumstances surrounding the arrest and immediately began the process to terminate employment.”
“The employee submitted a letter of resignation prior to formal termination. 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,” Williams continued.
Richardson’s next appearance on the court will take place on February 1, 2022, Tuesday.
In September, a Florida businessman was also arrested and charged after fraudulently accepting $2 million from the COVID-19 relief funds and using an amount of $700,000 of it to purchase an expensive 40-foot-boat.
Even Love & Hip Hop star, Maurice Fayne also known as “Arkansas Mo” was sentenced to 17 years in prison after facing charges in May involving federal bank fraud after finding out that the money he used to purchase luxury pieces for himself was from the $2 million PPP. Not just that, based on the report of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fayne operated a multi-state scheme that injured more than 20 people over 7 years. He tricked the investors, saying that he would be using their capital contributions to put up a trucking business.
Unfortunately, Fayne didn’t use the money for its prime intention, instead, he used it to fund his lavish lifestyle.