A Valley couple pleads not guilty to charges they defrauded the court system and many families

PHOENIX - A Valley Couple accused of defrauding the court system, and dozens of families plead not guilty in court Thursday.

Ciara and Michael Coultrap left the courtroom smiling despite the charges of fraud and forgery against them.

Ciara is also charged with perjury for testifying that she was a doctor.  Detectives say she lied and does not have a doctorate of any kind.

We're not allowed to comment.  "I'm sorry, unfortunately we're not allowed to comment, we would love to talk to you. We would love everything to be completely transparent , but we have no comment at this time, we're in the middle of litigation," said Michael Coultrap as they left the courthouse.

Sheriff Detectives told ABC15, Ciara Coultrap has been "attempting to operate" her business Family Legacy and Child Services and get more cases assigned to her.

According to court documents, the couple would charge clients in court custody cases exhorbant fees. When they wouldn't pay detectives they would threaten to keep their children for them.

Don Myers has been at both court hearings and said he's been held financially hostage by the Coultrap's.

Myers said he picked Legacy Family and Children's services for supervised visitation with his son.  The Coultrap's arranged for him to meet his son at the park near their home, but he soon noticed his wife would park at the home and not the park.

"When I asked about the changes, I was told by Mr. Coultrap that since I was asking questions I would have to pay a $150 dollar administration fee before I could see my son."  Myers said.

Myers added since he no longer could afford the service fees, he hasn't seen his son four months.

He told reporters that Michael Coultrap often wasn't awake when he showed up for his appointed visitation on Sunday mornings.

"On one occasion, I had to call police because Mr. Coultrap would not come out of his residents to give me my son." said Myers

Many of the victims are now asking and hoping for their cases to be reopened and examined closely.

Michael Coultrap posted bail Thursday morning just before his court appearance.

Ciara Coultrap was released last week.  Detectives said while Ciara has been out, she's been "attempting to operate her business", and get more cases assigned to her.

The Coultraps are on a home monitoring ankle bracelet and have a curfew and will be back in court in January.

More than 20 victims have now come forward.

If you're a victim and would like to speak with Maricopa County Sheriff Detectives 602-876-1853.

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