CA woman going to prison in loan scam, impersonating lawyers


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A 37-year-old woman is going to prison after she fraudulently received more than $350,000 in COVID-19 relief loans and impersonated attorneys in California, federal officials say.

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

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

Before her November 2019 arrest, Devlin was accused of impersonating attorneys by using their names and state license numbers beginning in 2012, the criminal complaint and the news release say.

She represented two people as a fake lawyer, according to the complaint. A judge called her out on the scam, but then she stole another attorney’s identity, court documents show.

Devlin ordered that attorney’s State Bar of California card and had it mailed to her address, prosecutors said in the complaint.

Authorities also discovered she unlawfully applied for coronavirus pandemic relief loans totaling $368,800 through the Paycheck Protection Program and the Small Business Administration, the news release states.

The PPP program was meant to provide payroll to small businesses to keep workers employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Devlin submitted an application with a name that wasn’t hers for a company called the Common Nucleus of Cancer, LLC for $32,700, court documents show.

In her application, she said the company had two employees and paid taxes in 2019, the news release states. But the business was “a shell company” — it had no office, employees or expenses.

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

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

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

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

Devlin has been in custody since March.

Helena Wegner is a McClatchy National Real-Time Reporter covering the state of Washington and the western region. She’s a journalism graduate from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She’s based in Phoenix.

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