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Blythewood woman sentenced for fraud of $1.2 million in COVID-19 relief funds

39-year-old allegedly stole money from CARES Act funds and committed tax fraud
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — A 39-year-old Blythewood woman has been sentenced to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to fraudulently obtaining $1.2 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding, and committing tax fraud.

According to evidence presented in court, from April 2020 through August 2020, Bridgett Dorsey fraudulently applied for and received $1,253,460.35 by way of seven Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, along with two EIDL cash advances, on behalf of seven businesses for which she was the alleged owner. Dorsey submitted false information on each of the loan applications or created businesses for the sole purpose of obtaining the funds.

Agents with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) also found Dorsey had been preparing fraudulent tax returns -- preparing multiple tax returns on behalf of individuals and claiming deductions she knew to be false -- through one of her businesses, Virtual Financial Services.

The IRS and TIGTA agencies were able to seize $500,000 in stolen funds and freeze $130,000 in other assets. The $630,000 will go towards Dorsey's restitution and Dorsey paid an additional $184,000 before sentencing.

Senior United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie sentenced Dorsey to 24 months in federal prison, to be followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision, and ordered Dorsey to pay more than $1 million in restitution stemming from her CARES Act-related fraud, in addition to $13,865 in restitution to the IRS as a result of her tax fraud.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.