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San Francisco Woman Sentenced to 18 Months for Pandemic Relief Loan Fraud and Attorney Impersonation | USAO-NDCA

SAN FRANCISCO – Miranda Devlin, aka Miranda M., aka Miranda P., was sentenced today by a district court in the United States to 18 months in federal prison for making false statements in a loan application for the federal pandemic and mail fraud relief fund involving identity theft and practicing California attorneys’ law, said U.S. Acting Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Craig D. Fair and Inspector General of the Treasury for Tax Administration J. Russell George. The sentence was handed down by US District Judge Maxine M. Chesney.

Devlin, 37, of San Francisco, pleaded guilty on July 21, 2021. In her plea agreement, Devlin described several crimes she committed from March 2012 to May 2020 to defraud individuals and the government. In one of her ploys, Devlin – who has never been a lawyer – admitted to stealing the identities of two California State Bar lawyers and pretending she was a certified lawyer. From 2012, Devlin began to assume the names of lawyers and use their license numbers. She even paid a lawyer’s dues to the state bar, unbeknownst to the lawyer, to keep the lawyer’s license active. Devlin further admitted to submitting change of address requests to the US Postal Service for other people’s mail to be forwarded to him, including a lawyer’s state bar license card. Several people have hired Devlin as a lawyer. Devlin admitted to representing several people in the courtrooms of Bay Area County superior courts.

Devlin further admitted to engaging in a scheme to defraud the federal government’s pandemic relief program of $ 368,800. To commit fraud, Devlin submitted a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrower application form requesting money from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) program. The PPP was born out of the CARES law passed by Congress in March 2020 which authorized conditional repayment PPP loans to small businesses, in order to promote job retention and cover specific business expenses during the pandemic. Devlin’s PPP application contained several deliberately false statements which Devlin certified to be true. Her statements included that she had a company named Common Nucleus of Cancer (CNC) and had salary expenses in 2019 and also paid taxes in 2019. However, CNC was only a shell company. In his plea deal, Devlin admitted that CNC had no employees or business expenses. Devlin admitted that with her PPP loan application, she submitted false forms and tax records for 2019 as proof of the salaries and business expenses she allegedly paid. As a result of this request, Devlin received a PPP loan of $ 32,700. Devlin admitted that she did not pay any business expenses or alleged wages with this money, but instead used it for her personal benefit.

Devlin further admitted that she continued with the program and applied for and ultimately received a larger additional loan in the amount of $ 336,100 from the SBA. In total, Devlin admitted to illegally receiving a total of $ 368,800 from the SBA in government pandemic relief loans.

In addition to her 18-month prison sentence for mail fraud in violation of 18 USC § 1341 and for making false statements in a loan application in violation of 18 USC § 1014, United District Judge Maxine M. Chesney ordered Devlin to pay restitution in the amount of $ 565,355. The sentence also included a 5-year period of supervision after Devlin’s release from prison.

Devlin has been in custody since March 2, 2021 and begins his sentence immediately.

The Special Prosecutions Section of the United States Attorney’s Office continued the case. The prosecutions are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Inspector General of the Treasury for Tax Administration (TIGTA).