Four Arizonans – a Mesa wife and husband and two men from Peoria and Phoenix – will spend years behind bars after being sentenced for fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars from the Paycheck Protection Program during the pandemic, federal officials said.
Those convicted and their sentences, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona:
In addition, all four were ordered to serve five years of supervised release following their time in prison, officials said.
The Paycheck Protection Program loan initiative was designed to help businesses pay their employees and meet expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mitchell, working with others, fraudulently obtained seven PPP loans totaling $9,470,900. He purchased a vehicle, multiple properties and vacations with the PPP funds, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Swaringer obtained four fraudulent PPP loans totaling more than $1.5 million on behalf of Cryotherapy for Veterans and Cryoworld Therapy, LLC.
In addition to his own loans, Swaringer also recruited more than 10 people to apply for fraudulent PPP loans, officials said.
He assisted in preparing and submitting their PPP applications in exchange for kickbacks from their PPP loan proceeds, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Swaringer was ordered to pay more than $3.8 million in restitution for his own loans and the kickbacks from at least 15 other PPP loans. Swaringer purchased jewelry, vehicles, vacations and real estate with the fraudulent funds, authorities said.
Kimberly and Jason Coleman prepared and submitted approximately two dozen fraudulent PPP loan applications to receive more than $30 million in PPP funds.
“They were successful in at least 10 of those submissions and fraudulently obtained more than $13 million in PPP funds. The Colemans’ purchases included luxury vehicles and real estate properties, personal property from several high-end retail outlets, vacation and jewelry,” the release stated.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the investigation in the cases, with assistance from Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations and the Small Business Administration-Office of the Inspector General. The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Phoenix, handled the prosecutions.