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Press Release

Former Derry Man Sentenced for Submitting Dozens of Fraudulent Applications for Pandemic Relief Funds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Hampshire

CONCORD – A former Derry man was sentenced today in federal court for submitting approximately three dozen fraudulent applications for COVID-19 pandemic relief funds, U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young announces.

David Dodge, 42, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Paul J. Barbadoro to 34 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release.  On February 20, 2024, Dodge pleaded guilty to bank fraud.  His wife and co-conspirator, Tammy Dodge, pled guilty to bank fraud on March 4, 2024, and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 10, 2024.

“Congress passed the CARES Act to help Americans struggling during the worst health crisis in a century,” said U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young.  “The defendant exploited this lifeline to steal from taxpayers to buy luxury items including a diamond ring.  Today’s significant sentence reflects the seriousness of the offense and underscores that we are continuing to vigilantly prosecute pandemic relief fraud.”

“The Treasury Inspector General for Tax administration (TIGTA) aggressively investigates the abuse of IRS systems to defraud federal and state relief programs through fraudulent applications,” stated Special Agent-in-Charge Michael Carpenter. “In this case, the defendant diverted COVID-19 pandemic relief funds intended for legitimate businesses and their employees for personal gains.”

Dodge claimed to own or control multiple businesses in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, including Teacher Tammy (a/k/a Teacher Tammy’s), Optimized Operations, and Business Done Right.  However, these companies had no operations and served no business purpose.

Dodge and his wife submitted dozens of fraudulent applications for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from private lenders, Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) from the Small Business Administration, and pandemic relief grants from the New Hampshire Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR) and the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC).  To commit the fraud, Dodge also used the Social Security Number of a minor child to apply for and obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS for a fictional company called Consulting Services.

Dodge used fake supporting documents in the applications.  For example, on May 4, 2020, David Dodge applied for a $39,355 PPP loan for Optimized Operations.  He provided a “Payroll Report” purporting to show that Optimized Operations had a monthly payroll of approximately $46,000 through December 2020, seven months into the future.  Other fake documents included a doctored Limited Liability Company certificate showing that Optimized Operations was incorporated in Massachusetts in June 2016, when it did not exist on paper until May 2020.  David Dodge also provided fraudulent tax documents showing that Optimized Operations had five employees paid $45,000 each quarter.

Overall, because lenders detected most of the fraudulent applications, the Dodges obtained $219,323.34.  They misused the fraudulently obtained funds, including to purchase a hot tub and a diamond ring.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration led the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander S. Chen is prosecuting the case. 

During the early part of the coronavirus pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  The CARES Act included multiple relief provisions to help the millions of Americans and many small businesses adversely affected by the pandemic, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  Private lenders could participate in the PPP.  The loans, which were supposed to be used for payroll, were fully guaranteed by the government.  If borrowers used the PPP loans for payroll and other approved expenses as intended, they could apply for loan forgiveness.  The CARES Act also opened up the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.  As with PPP loans, EIDL loans were supposed to be used for payroll and other business expenses such as rent and mortgage.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit

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:


Updated May 31, 2024