Mobile woman admits to COVID fraud for herself and another applicant
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Fraud hunters looking into money Congress authorized to help businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic have bagged another prize.
Sandy Riggins, 35, pleaded guilty on Thursday to filing a fraudulent application under the Paycheck Protection Program and accepting money to help someone else file a false claim.
Riggins is one of a number of Mobile-area residents – including some who were in prison during the pandemic – to be charged with defrauding the program.
Court records value Riggins’ fraud at $41,665.50.
According to her written plea agreement, Riggins falsely claimed to have owned a child and youth services business when COVID-19 forced it to shut down. In June 2020, she applied for a $20,833 loan. In February last year, she admitted, she took $3,500 from a person whom she helped make a $20,832 Paycheck Protection Program application.
On her own application, Riggins claimed her business had a monthly payroll of $8,333 and generated $113,000 in revenue the previous years. In fact, according to the plea document, the defendant had no business or monthly payroll.
The other applicant, identified as “CC-2″ in court records, falsely claimed to own a taxi service business. CC-2 received $20,832. CC-2 admitted to the FBI that the application was fraudulent and expressed remorse, citing a need for the money.
Under advisory sentencing guidelines, Riggins faces a prison term of 18 months to two years.
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