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Friday, August 1, 2014


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Dorsey faces 19 additional charges






Denita Dorsey
Denita Dorsey was charged with 19 new felonies Friday at East Lansing's 54-B District Court, bringing the total number of charges against her to 27 after police accused her of stealing of more than $100,000, which she used to buy clothes, pay rent and purchase a new $40,000 vehicle.

Police say while Dorsey, a May graduate, was a Melrose Apartments employee, she used personal information from tenants' rental applications to open bank accounts, apply for credit cards and take out student loans to obtain the money.

Dorsey, 22, faces a maximum punishment of 157 years in prison and $142,000 in fines. In front of Judge Richard Ball on Friday, the Saginaw native was charged with one count of conducting a criminal enterprise, nine counts of obtaining personal identity information without authorization, five counts of false pretenses and four counts of financial transaction device.

The MSU alumna was charged two months ago with four counts of fraud and identity theft, three counts of forging checks and one count of larceny. An ongoing investigation of Dorsey, who was on a "diversion" probation program, revealed the evidence for the latest additional charges, East Lansing police Capt. Juli Liebler said. Dorsey's attorney, George Betts of Lansing, said a plea of not guilty was entered during Friday's arraignment.

"At the preliminary exam we'll be able to sift through the charges and find out what will stick for trial and what won't," Betts said.

Betts added the additional charges weren't unexpected.

"We knew there was an ongoing investigation, and I think what happened was when they initially charged her, rather than just waiting to charge everything, they went ahead and charged her on the initial investigation, knowing there was more to come.

"At this point, I don't know what to expect. I think there's a good chance it will go to trial."

Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III said a case like this isn't an extreme rarity and his office isn't overloading on charges against Dorsey.

"The concept of creating or stealing other people's identities in order to privately gain ill-gotten gains is unfortunately the crime of the 21st century," Dunnings said.

"At the end of the process, I would hope that one thing we would be able to do is to find out the identities of everybody that may have been compromised. I don't know that we have them all yet. But we want to try and determine as many of them as possible, and try to get their credit re-established."

The prosecuting attorney in the case will be Ingham County Prosecutor Mike Cheltenham.

Dorsey's pretrial will be on June 9 and her preliminary exam begins June 11. She is free on bond.


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