Ocean View woman pleads guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion | News


WILMINGTON, Of – An Ocean View woman pleaded guilty today in federal court to fraud and tax evasion in connection with her theft of more than $1 million from Dovetail, Inc., her former employer. U.S. District Chief Judge Colm Connolly accepted the plea.

According to court documents and statements made in open court, Joan Donald, 55, worked as an accountant for Dovetail, a high-end interior design firm based in Bethany Beach. For more than 7 years, Donald worked what prosecutors called a “long scam” against Dovetail and its owner, an elderly woman with frail health. Donald used Dovetail funds to pay personal credit card bills. When confronted with the fraud, Donald confessed that she had been embezzling money from Dovetail for years. A full forensic accounting conducted by the FBI revealed that Donald stole over $1 million.

“The story of Dovetail is a remarkable example of the American dream, a small business started from the ground up by a single mother of four children,” said U.S. attorney David Weiss. “Month after month, year after year, however, Joan Donald broke the trust placed in her and used Dovetail as her own private ATM, effectively bankrupting both the business and the owner in the process. Thanks to the efforts of our partners law enforcement officials, Donald is now a convicted felon.

Following his guilty plea, Donald faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced on August 4, 2022. Sentences for federal crimes are generally lower than the maximum sentences. Chief U.S. District Judge Connolly will impose a sentence after considering U.S. sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

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