Phoenix Police officer resigns after alleged COVID-19 relief funds scheme

A former Phoenix Police officer has been arrested on federal charges in connection to a fraud scheme.

Toni Richardson is accused of submitting a fraudulent application to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a federal COVID-19 financial lifeline for businesses, and obtaining nearly $1.3 million in federal loans from the CARES Act.

The indictment shows Richardson and another defendant, Willie Mitchell, applied for the funds on behalf of the "Lotto Club," an alleged nonprofit charity for veterans, saying they needed it to keep the business going.

The Phoenix Police Department says Richardson resigned after her arrest.

Sgt. Andy Williams with the department said in a statement, "The department was notified of the circumstances surrounding the arrest and immediately began the process to terminate employment. The employee submitted a letter of resignation prior to formal termination. The city of Phoenix takes allegations of criminal conduct by our employees very seriously. The alleged actions of this employee go against the core values of the city and everything we stand for as public servants."

Former Phoenix Police officer Toni Richardson

Former Phoenix Police officer Toni Richardson

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