Mobile woman sentenced to 6 months for COVID-19 fraud

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 2:27 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A federal judge Thursday sentenced a woman to six months in prison for defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program of more than $41,000.

Sandy Riggins, 35, of Mobile, pleaded guilty in June to filing a fraudulent application under the COVID-19 relief program, which Congress created to help businesses hurt by the pandemic. She also admitted that she helped someone else file a false claim.

U.S. District Judge Terry Moorer previously had ordered her to pay $41,665.50. He reaffirmed that restitution amount on Thursday and sentenced her to six months in prison, followed by nine months of home confinement with electronic monitoring as part of a three-year term of supervised release.

The judge also ordered substance abuse testing and treatment, mental health evaluation and treatment, and restrictions on borrowing money.

Riggins admitted to filing a false claim under the pandemic relief program for herself and also helping someone else file a fraudulent claim.

Riggins admitted to falsely claiming 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 $20,833 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.


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