Four Arizona residents were sentenced to significant prison terms in connection with their schemes to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) 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.
They were each sentenced as follows:
- Willie Mitchell, aka Blu Mitchell, 41, of Phoenix, Arizona, was sentenced on February 6, 2023, by United States District Judge G. Murray Snow to 97 months in prison.
- Sean Swaringer, 57, of Peoria, Arizona, was sentenced on April 4, 2023, by United States District Judge Steven P. Logan to 121 months in prison.
- Kimberly Coleman, 39, of Mesa, Arizona, was sentenced on April 10, 2023, by Judge Logan to 120 months in prison.
- Jason Coleman, 41, of Mesa, Arizona, was sentenced on May 15, 2023, by Judge Logan to 60 months in prison.
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 $9,470,900. He purchased a vehicle, multiple properties, and vacations with the PPP funds.
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.
Kimberly 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 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.