Ex-FBI agent, DC real estate developer sentenced to prison for bribery scheme

A former FBI agent and a Washington, D.C., real estate developer were each sentenced to two years in prison this week after being convicted a year ago of a bribery scheme using a program meant to protect renters from being evicted when landlords sell their property in the nation’s capital. 

David Paitsel, 42, a former FBI agent, and Brian Bailey, 53, a Washington, D.C., real estate developer, were sentenced Wednesday on bribery and conspiracy charges for their role in schemes involving confidential information held by the Washington, D.C., Department of Housing and Community Development. 

The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia 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.

Paitsel, a resident of North Carolina, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for each count to run concurrently, 24 months of supervised release, a $100 special assessment and a $10,600 forfeiture money judgment. Bailey, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was sentenced to 48 months in prison for each count to run concurrently, 24 months of supervised release, a $100 special assessment and a $250,000 fine. Both defendants were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. 

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A jury convicted both defendants of bribery and conspiracy charges on Oct. 7, 2022.

The schemes were meant to help secure lucrative real estate deals in areas of the district such as Shaw and Columbia Heights, according to court documents. 

Bailey was found guilty of giving thousands of dollars in bribes to Dawne Dorsey, a program specialist with the District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development in exchange for confidential, nonredacted Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) offer of sale notices, which included the names of tenants holding TOPA rights.

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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 seller to provide the Washington, D.C., Department of Housing and Community Development 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, the Justice Department said. 

In a second part of the scheme, Paitsel and Bailey were both found guilty of one count of bribery and one count of conspiracy. Specifically, Bailey paid Paitsel bribes to look up the contact information of the tenants holding TOPA rights, which prosecutors said he did by using a database restricted to law enforcement use that he had special access to as an FBI agent. 

Dorsey, 40, pleaded guilty to bribery in June 2019. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 6. 

In a related case, Frederick Silvers, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty to bribery and was sentenced to five months of incarceration for bribes paid to Dorsey.

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