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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Arizona

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 17, 2021

Nine Indicted for Payment Protection Program Fraud

Defendants Obtained More Than $23 Million

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Last week, Jason Coleman, 40, and Kimberly Coleman, 38, of Mesa, Arizona, made their initial appearance in federal court on a 62-count indictment charging them with Conspiracy, Bank Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Transactional Money Laundering. A federal grand jury previously indicted the Colemans and seven other individuals in connection with a fraudulent scheme to obtain approximately $23 million in Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans. The nine defendants are accused of then using those PPP funds to purchase vehicles, properties, and other luxurious items.

According to the indictments, from April 2020 through April 2021, the conspirators in this scheme submitted or assisted in submitting PPP loan applications on behalf of 18 businesses, seeking loans between $100,000 and $2.2 million for each company.

In the loan applications, the defendants certified that each business was in operation and had employees for whom it paid salaries and payroll taxes, that the funds would be used to retain workers or make mortgage, lease, or utility payments, and that the information provided in the loan applications was true and accurate.

According to the indictment charging Jason and Kimberly Coleman, the married couple conspired to prepare and submit approximately two dozen false and fraudulent PPP loan applications in an attempt to receive more than $30 million in PPP funds. The Colemans were successful in ten of those submissions and fraudulently obtained more than $13 million in PPP funds.

According to the eight other connected indictments, seven defendants conspired to submit eight false and fraudulent PPP loan applications and received more than ­­­­$10 million in PPP funds. The individuals named in the indictments include:

  • Willie Mitchell aka Blu Mitchell, 40, of Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Jason Nolte, 39, of Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Sean Swaringer, 56, of Peoria, Arizona.
  • Vanessa Swaringer, 54, of Peoria, Arizona.
  • Toni Richardson, 52, of Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Keenya Williams, 40, of Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Darrell Lieteau, 56, of Phoenix, Arizona.

Indictments are only accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

These cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigation, and the Small Business Administration-Office of the Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the District of Arizona, Phoenix, are handling the prosecutions.

To learn more about the Justice Department’s COVID response, visit: https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

For further information on the Criminal Division’s enforcement efforts on PPP fraud, including court documents from significant cases, visit the following website: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/ppp-fraud

CASE NUMBERS:  21-00975-PHX-SPL; 21-00976-PHX-JJT; 21-00977-PHX-GMS;
                                   21-00978-PHX-DLR; 21-00979-PHX-SMB; 21-00980-PHX-SPL;
                                   21-00981-PHX-SPL; 21-00982-PHX-SPL; 21-00983-PHX-GMS   

RELEASE NUMBER:    2021-094_Coleman, et al.

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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/
Follow the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, on Twitter @USAO_AZ for the latest news.

Topic(s): 
Coronavirus
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
2021-094_Coleman, et al.
Updated December 17, 2021