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Press Release

Two Individuals Arrested for Defrauding Canadian Company that Sought to Purchase Protective Surgical Masks at Outset of Covid-19 Pandemic

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendants Allegedly Stole More Than $8 Million and Never Provided the Promised Surgical Masks

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, a criminal complaint was unsealed charging Jonathan Cannon and Julie Dotton with wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud a company seeking to purchase personal protective equipment (“PPE”) at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Cannon was arrested this morning at his home on Long Island and arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Steven L. Tiscione who released the defendant on a $500,000 bond.  Dotton was arrested this morning in Buffalo and will make her initial appearance this afternoon in federal court in the Western District of New York. 

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the arrests and charges. 

“As alleged in the complaint, the defendants sought to take advantage of a provider’s need for life-saving personal protective equipment through a fraudulent scheme that was designed in reality to line their own pockets,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “This Office will continue to work diligently to ensure that fraudsters who sought to capitalize on the worldwide pandemic will be brought to justice. There is no free pass for Covid-19 fraud.”

“Jonathan Cannon and Julie Dotton allegedly defrauded a healthcare company of approximately $8.2 million under the false pretense of selling personal protective equipment. The defendants’ alleged failure to provide these critical garments, especially during the onset of a global pandemic, selfishly deprived potential consumers and patients in need. Today’s arrests highlights the FBI’s steadfast pursuit of those who jeopardize the health of others for personal financial gain,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith.

According to court filings, as part of their fraudulent scheme, Cannon and Dotton allegedly misrepresented their ability to obtain PPE to a Canadian company that was an official provider of PPE to two Canadian provinces during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Using a nominal entity she controlled, Dotton entered into a contract with the company to sell approximately 12 million face masks to it for $8.2 million.  Cannon and Dotton then caused the company to wire the $8.2 million payment to a purported third-party escrow agent’s bank account.  Rather than use the funds to procure the PPE as promised, Cannon and Dotton caused the purported escrow agent to transfer the funds to a bank account controlled by Cannon, who, in turn, disbursed the funds to various third parties for the defendants’ benefit.  After Cannon and Dotton failed to procure the agreed upon PPE for the company, and the company demanded delivery of the PPE or a refund, Cannon and Dotton strung them along with excuses for a number of months. 

The charge in the complaint is an allegation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Drew G. Rolle, John O. Enright and Adam Toporovsky are in charge of the prosecution with assistance from Paralegal Specialist Peyton Jefferson. 

The Defendants:

Age:  58
Miller Place, New York

Julie Dotton
Age:  51
Orchard Park, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 24-MJ-342


John Marzulli
Danielle Blustein Hass                            
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated May 2, 2024

Financial Fraud