Four Arizona residents were sentenced to prison terms in connection with their schemes to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program loans, a federal loan initiative designed to help businesses pay their employees and meet expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All four defendants, Willie Mitchell, Sean Swaringer, Kimberly Coleman, and Jason Coleman pleaded guilty to bank fraud, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office.
They were each sentenced as follows:
In addition to their respective prison terms, all four defendants also were ordered to serve five years of supervised release.
Mitchell, working with others, fraudulently obtained seven PPP loans totaling $9.47 million. He purchased a vehicle, multiple properties, and vacations with the PPP funds, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Swaringer obtained four fraudulent PPP loans totaling more than $1.5 million on behalf of two entities: Cryotherapy for Veterans and Cryoworld Therapy LLC. In addition to his own loans, Swaringer also recruited more than 10 individuals to apply for fraudulent PPP loans. He assisted in preparing and submitting their PPP applications in exchange for kickbacks from their PPP loan proceeds. 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.
Coleman and her husband, Jason Coleman, collectively prepared and submitted approximately two dozen fraudulent PPP loan applications in an attempt 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 Attorney’s Office said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the investigation in these cases, with significant 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.