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WASHINGTON – Dawne Dorsey, 40, a former employee of the District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development, was sentenced today for accepting bribes in return for giving out confidential information held by the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, FBI Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs, of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division, and Daniel W. Lucas, Inspector General for the District of Columbia.
Dorsey pleaded guilty to bribery in June 2019 and agreed to cooperate with the Government’s investigation. She was sentenced to 36 months’ probation by United States District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.
According to court documents, Dorsey, former a program specialist with DHCD, accepted bribes in exchange for giving real estate developers Frederick Silvers and Brian Bailey confidential, un-redacted Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) offer of sale notices, which included the names of tenants holding TOPA rights.
TOPA provides tenants living in the District of Columbia with the right to purchase their residence should the owner decide to sell the property. Under TOPA, tenants can re-assign their right to purchase to a third party. TOPA requires the owner (seller) to provide the DHCD with offer of sale notices before the proposed real estate transaction. The offer of sale notices include - among other things - information not released to the public, such as the names of tenants residing at the property. Bailey and Silvers paid bribes to obtain the tenant names so they could attempt to buy the tenants’ TOPA rights, and in turn, put the property up for sale, at an advantageous price.
In a related part of the scheme, former FBI Agent David Paitsel and Bailey were both found guilty of one count of bribery and one count of conspiracy because Bailey paid Paitsel bribes to look up the contact information of the tenants holding TOPA rights, which he did using a database he had special access to as an FBI Agent.
This is the fourth and final sentencing relating to Dorsey’s corrupt conduct. Last month, Paitsel, 42, a resident of North Carolina, was sentenced to 24 months in prison; and Bailey, 53, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was sentenced to 48 months in prison. A jury convicted both defendants of bribery, and conspiracy charges on October 7, 2022. In a related case, Frederick Silvers, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty to bribery and was sentenced to five months in prison for bribes paid to Dorsey.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the District of Columbia Office of the Inspector General.
If you have information about fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in District government programs and operations, please call the D.C. OIG at 202-724-TIPS [202-724-8477].
The trial of the case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Aloi and John Borchert, with assistance from Paralegal Specialists Lisa Abbe and Quiana Dunn-Gordon of the Fraud, Public Corruption, and Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.