SAN FRANCISCO—The FBI arrested Miranda Devlin, 37, of San Francisco, for fraudulently applying for Payroll Protection Program (PPP), which is a government program designed to aid small businesses during COVID-19 and impersonating two California lawyers. The FBI is actively searching for more of Devlin’s victims.
The Department of Justice stated in a news release that Devlin obtained attorneys Miranda Martin and Miranda Petrillo license numbers and used their information to “act as a criminal defense attorney.”
According to Marin Independent Journal, Devlin was able to obtain two clients who were facing molestation charges. According to the authorities, Devlin appeared in court to defend the clients as “Miranda Martin.”
The Marin Independent Journal interviewed Devlin and asked why she was impersonating attorneys, “I just have people writing motions for me and stuff. I don’t look at every little detail. They’re just mad at me because I won’t budge. That’s what they’re upset about — me. Trying to help the public” she said.
During that same time frame, the authorities noted that Devlin used a shell company she created, the Common Nucleus of Cancer, LLC (CNC), to defraud the PPP of $32,700.
“In CNC’s application, Devlin made multiple false statements and provided false IRS documents to support the statements. For example, Devlin claimed that she was Miranda Martin, that CNC was managed by Miranda Martin, that Miranda Martin owned 100% of the entity, that CNC had two employees and a monthly payroll of $13,115, that it had paid employee salary and payroll taxes throughout the four quarters of 2019, and that CNC was in operation on February 15, 2020,” the authorities said.
According to the Justice Department in a news release, Devlin made these statements under oath, but none of the statements were true. Once she obtained the PPP money, she allegedly purchased stock for her personal funds, bought items from Amazon and Bloomingdale’s, and jewelry from Tiffany & Co.
Authorities have charged Devlin with making false statements, which carries a possible prison sentence of 30 years and a $1,000,000 fine. Devlin was also charged with mail fraud, which carries a possible prison sentence of 20 years, and a fine of $250,000.
Devlin was brought into court on February 12 but was released on bond for her next court appearance, which is scheduled for March 8.
The authorities still consider this to be an active investigation. If anyone has any information about potential victims, has any information relating to this incident, or if they believe they might be a victim of Devlin to contact the FBI San Francisco Office at (415) 553-7400. All informants will remain anonymous.