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Press Release

Con Artist At The Heart Of Columbus Grand Reserve Scam Sentenced To 96 Months Imprisonment On 22 Counts

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

COLUMBUS – An Alabama woman found guilty by a citizen jury on 22 counts of fraud and conspiracy for her role in stealing large amounts of money from a Columbus business was sentenced to eight years in prison by a U.S. District Judge today, said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. The Honorable Clay D. Land sentenced Dorita Clay AKA Dorita Browning/Dorita West/Dorita Mial/Dorita Moultrie/Dorita Mobley/Dorita Brooks, 51, of Selma, AL to 96 months in prison on each of the 22 counts for which she was found guilty on January 9, 2019, all to run concurrently. The defendant will also serve three years supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system. In sentencing the defendant, the Court noted the defendant’s total lack of remorse and sentenced her above the calculated guideline range. 

Evidence and testimony introduced at trial established that Ms. Clay conspired with her co-defendant, Darlene Corbett, to steal almost $1 million from Corbett’s employer, the Grand Reserve Columbus.  Darlene Corbett took the stand at the January 2019 trial and testified that the money she embezzled all went to Ms. Clay and was in the service of various schemes that Ms. Clay had convinced her were legitimate, to include a pending multi-million dollar estate settlement and a multi-million lawsuit settlement that Ms. Clay claimed she was about to receive. Ms. Corbett further admitted at trial that she had conspired with Ms. Clay to steal the money from the Grand Reserve, to then conceal the theft, and then deceive the FBI with a false story about business loans.  Ms. Corbett also testified that both she and her elderly mother had liquidated their life’s savings and taken out personal loans to “invest” in the schemes. 

“This skilled con artist, who had no problem concocting lies in order to steal money to support a lavish lifestyle and gambling habit will finally face the consequences for her criminal actions,” said Charlie Peeler, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “Protecting businesses and the elderly from fraud remains a high priority for the Office. I want to thank the FBI for their work unraveling this scheme, and bringing an end to Ms. Clay’s ruinous lies and criminal actions.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals is prosecuting the case for the Government.

Questions concerning this case can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Director (Contractor), United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.

Updated June 10, 2019

Financial Fraud