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Former Phoenix cop arrested for alleged PPP fraud

A former Phoenix police officer was arrested and charged with $1.2 million in PPP fraud.

PHOENIX — A former Phoenix police officer was arrested for allegedly scamming the federal government out of $1.2 million in PPP money.

Toni Richardson quit the department before she could be fired, according to a Phoenix Police Department spokesman. 

According to court documents, Richardson is accused of applying for a PPP loan for a company she owns with her co-defendant Willie "Blu" Mitchell. The company, called The Lotto Club, is listed as a veteran's charity with the Arizona Corporation Commission.

RELATED: Phoenix police officer arrested for fraud charges

But prosecutors said The Lotto Club had no employees and never had any payroll until shortly before applying for the PPP money. Then the company claimed 85 employees and a payroll of a half-million dollars a month. After receiving the money, prosecutors said the company only had five employees.

Prosecutors traced the money to various business and personal accounts linked to both Richardson and Mitchell, including one called TLR Housing. That company traces back to a house in North Phoenix that's also listed as a residential treatment facility. The Arizona Department of Health Services says it's not licensed. 

Mitchell is the owner of a beauty school in Glendale as well as a nonprofit named Sigma C.U.T.S, which claims to provide no-cost housing and apprenticeship opportunities in various states. 

Mitchell was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas.

The indictment shows prosecutors want to collect the remaining PPP money as well as seize whatever it was spent on. 

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