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Nine people in Arizona accused of defrauding pandemic relief program

Nine people in Arizona have been indicted on allegations they fraudulently obtained more than $23 million in government pandemic assistance.

Federal prosecutors allege 40-year-old Jason Coleman and 38-year-old Kimberly Coleman of Mesa conspired to prepare and submit fraudulent applications seeking $30 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Prosecutors say they faked payroll records and received $13 million from 10 of their applications, then used the money to buy properties, luxury vehicles, investments and personal expenses. Both have pleaded not guilty and their attorneys could not be reached or declined to comment.

Meanwhile, a grand jury also issued eight indictments of seven people from the Phoenix area accused of conspiring to defraud the pandemic relief program.