Lexington Woman Sentenced for Wire Fraud and Money Laundering Related to COVID-19 Relief

For Immediate Release

U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A Lexington woman, Sandybell Fierro, 23, has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison, by U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell, for wire fraud and money laundering. 

According to her plea agreement, on April 5, 2021, Fierro submitted a materially false application to the Small Business Administration (SBA), to obtain an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Fierro falsely stated in the application that she established a personal services business, “Sandybell Fierro” in 2018, that the business had 17 employees, that she had sold $94,000 worth of goods in the last 12 months, and that the business had a gross revenue of $197,000.  However, no such business existed.

As a result of Fierro’s misrepresentations in the application, she was awarded a EIDL in the amount of $206,000, which she used for her own benefit.  As part of her sentencing, Fierro was ordered to pay $206,000 in restitution to the SBA.

Under federal law, Fierro must serve 85 percent of her prison sentence.  Upon her release from prison, she will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Bryant Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the IRS.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrea Mattingly Williams and Brittany Dunn-Pirio prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

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