Montana Man Gets 10 Years For Faking Covid, Missing Court

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man who is serving a 23-year prison sentence for defrauding two elderly Butte residents had another 10 years added to his term this week for lying when he said he missed a court hearing because he had COVID-19.

The Butte man was sentenced in March 2022 for violating his probation for his 2015 and 2017 convictions for stealing from two people. He had been given suspended sentences for both crimes, but he never paid restitution.

The man missed a December 2021 court hearing over those criminal cases and told the judge he had COVID-19. The next week he supplied a document from a Missoula clinic saying he had been diagnosed with the respiratory virus — a medical record prosecutors later learned had been forged, The Montana Standard reported.

The 10-year sentence he received Wednesday was for fabricating physical evidence.

District Court Judge Kurt Krueger denied a defense request that the new sentence run at the same time as the 23-year sentence, citing the 50-year-old man's extensive criminal record.