Mesa couple back in court for child custody fraud case

MESA, AZ - A Mesa couple accused of defrauding the court system and dozens of Valley families was in court Tuesday morning.

It was possible a trial date would be set, but the defense asked for more time to go over thousands of pages worth of documents.

The judge agreed and set a complex case management conference for the morning of March 18, 2013.

Michael and Ciara Coultrap have been charged with forgery, perjury and fraudulent schemes, yet seemed to be in high spirits.

An ABC15 crew caught up with the Coultraps after the hearing.

Michael Coultrap said he was advised by his attorney not to comment at this time.

"There's a big trial to do, a lot of truth to come out, we would like to talk, there's a lot to say," Coultrap said.

The Coultraps reportedly claimed to be licensed counselors and court mediators for their home business. Legacy Family and Children's Services.

According to court documents, they would charge clients exorbitant fees but if they couldn't pay, they would threaten to keep their children from them.

With a trial date still unknown, it was a frustrating day for the victims who want justice.

Marissa Prins Verberg said her son was victimized by the couple.

She said, "It makes me concerned for other children and families out there that are trapped having to work with court appointed people that are not acting ethically and that are not acting honestly."

The couple has been out of jail and wears home monitoring ankle bracelets.

Detectives say Ciara has been "attempting to operate her business" and get more cases.

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