California woman goes to jail in loan scam, impersonating lawyers

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A 37-year-old woman goes to jail after fraudulently receiving more than $ 350,000 in COVID-19 relief loans and posing as lawyers in California, federal officials say.

Miranda Devlin, of San Francisco, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Wednesday, November 17, for doing a false statement on a loan and mail fraudthe U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California said in a press release.

Devlin’s attorney, Mark Goldrosen, told McClatchy News the conviction was fair for his client’s circumstances, character and background.

Prior to her arrest in November 2019, Devlin was charged with impersonating attorneys using their names and state license numbers from 2012, according to the criminal complaint and press release.

She represented two people as bogus lawyers, according to the complaint. A judge denounced her for the scam, but she then stole the identity of another lawyer, according to court documents.

Devlin ordered the California State Bar card from this attorney and mailed it to his address, prosecutors said in the lawsuit.

Authorities also discovered that she illegally applied for coronavirus pandemic relief loans totaling $ 368,800 through the Paycheck Protection Program and the Small Business Administration, the report said. Press release.

The PPP program aimed to providing payroll for small businesses to keep workers employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Devlin submitted an application with a name that was not his for a company called Common Nucleus of Cancer, LLC for $ 32,700, according to court documents.

In her request, she said the company had two employees and paid taxes in 2019, the press release said. But the company was “a shell company” – it had no office, employees or expenses.

A portion of the loan funds paid for purchases at “Target, Panda Express, Amazon, Bloomingdale’s, Tiffany’s, among others; and to fund stock purchases from his TD Ameritrade account, “according to court documents.

Then she fraudulently applied for another loan from the Small Business Administration and received $ 336,100, prosecutors said in the press release.

Devlin pleaded guilty in July, according to the press release.

Following her 18-month prison sentence, she will also be granted five years of supervised release and will have to pay $ 565,355 in restitution.

Devlin has been in detention since March.

Helena Wegner is a McClatchy National Real-Time Report reporter covering Washington State and the Western Region. She graduated in journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She is based in Phoenix.

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