Sharon Dopwell of Margate, Florida was arrested last week and faces grand theft and money laundering charges after allegedly wiring almost $90,000 to her bank account while posing as the owner of a West Palm Beach car dealership. Dopwell was released after posting $8,500 bond. It is unclear if she has acquired the services of an attorney.
According to the arrest report, Dopwell, 52, purportedly posed as the owner of Mullinax Ford to get the money. The press did not specify how, if at all, Dopwell is associated with Mullinax Ford, or why the head accounting controller kept sending large sums of money to someone unaffiliated with the company.
Dopwell allegedly sent an email to the company’s head accountant on February 9 inquiring about the dealership’s account balance and requesting instructions on how to conduct a wire transfer. After receiving the information, Dopwell reportedly asked for $32,250 to be transferred to the account of a non-profit organization called Mas Museum, which lists her Margate home address as its mailing address. Bank records show that the money was withdrawn from a TD Bank branch in Margate on the same day the transfer was completed.
A week later, Dopwell allegedly sent another email once again posing as the owner of the car dealership and reportedly requested $55,000. The money was again withdrawn on the same day the transfer was completed, but this time from a TD Bank branch in Fort Lauderdale.
Dopwell was interviewed by police after the second wire transfer and she reportedly admitted to owning the account where the money was sent. She also confirmed that she was the woman photographed making withdrawals at the bank, reports say.
Dopwell isn’t the only Broward County resident facing charges for fraud and money laundering. Last week, two men pleaded guilty in court and admitted to cashing $7.4 million worth of payroll checks for undocumented construction workers.
Yamil Sanjurjo Cordero and Sandro Mendoza Alvarado allegedly operated an unlicensed money transmitting business under the guise of a construction company called Sunrise All Contractor Corp. The two men reportedly charged a 3.5 percent fee for their services and made almost $260,000 in the four-month period between September 2014 and January 2015.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Maurice Johnson, Sunrise All Contractor was created for the sole purpose of cashing checks for undocumented workers in the construction industry. The payroll checks Cordero, 33, and Alvarado, 35, purportedly received were cashed in stores all over Florida.
After deducting their fee, the two men reportedly gave their clients cash for paying illegal workers. The companies that used Sunrise All Contractor’s services were not named in court records, and it is unclear if they’ll face any penalties.
Both Cordero and Alvarado are being held at a Federal Detention Center in Miami. If convicted, they face a sentence of up to five years in federal prison and fines as high as $250,000.