Blythewood woman sentenced after pleading guilty to CARES Act related fraud

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– According to United States Attorney Corey F. Ellis, a Midlands woman was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud relating to more than $1.2 million of federal COVID-19 relief money, and to tax fraud. 39-year-old Blythwood resident, Bridgett Dorsey, engaged in more than $1.2 million dollars of CARES Act money, which was designed to bring emergency financial aid to those affected by the pandemic.

“The Defendant in this case not only stole from the federal government and engaged in tax fraud, but she prevented funds from reaching the hands of those who needed it the most. That this occurred during a pandemic makes her crimes particularly egregious,” said U.S. Attorney Ellis. “This case highlights the Department of Justice’s commitment to prosecuting those who illegally take advantage of COVID-19 to line their own pockets. Fortunately, the quick and capable work of our federal partners permitted the recovery of a substantial amount of stolen funds.”

Evidence in this case showed, from April to August of 2020, Dorsey fraudulently applied for and received the $1.2 million on behalf of seven businesses she allegedly owned. Investigators also found she had engaged in fraudulent tax return preparation through one of her businesses, preparing multiple tax returns for others and claimed deductions she knew were false.

“It is always a shame to see the rampant abuse of programs designed to help ordinary people struggling through the pandemic,” said Brian Thomas Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, Charlotte Field Office. “The IRS will continue to thoroughly investigate and vigorously target those who exploit the pandemic to commit tax fraud, and this case speaks to those efforts.”

Authorities say they were able to seize more than $500,000 of stolen funds from Dorsey’s bank accounts, and another account with about $130,000 was frozen. These funds will be applied to Dorsey’s restitution, of which she has paid roughly $184,000 before sentencing.

Categories: Local News, Richland