A woman who served as the figurehead CEO of a shell company in a scheme to win lucrative government work meant for minority-owned businesses was sentenced to four years in federal prison Friday after an emotional, hours-long hearing in which even her defense attorney choked back tears.
Dawn Hamilton, 48, of Brownsville, Md., sniffled and dabbed her eyes with a tissue as she apologized to a federal district court judge in Alexandria, saying her crime was motivated by “selfishness and wanting a certain lifestyle.”
“There’s no doubt I’ve made some very bad choices throughout my life, and my family will suffer greatly,” Hamilton said.
Judge T.S. Ellis III said that though he was sympathetic to some of Hamilton’s hardships — her attorney said she was a recovering drug addict and domestic violence survivor — they were “no excuses for criminal conduct.”
Hamilton had pleaded guilty in March to major fraud against the U.S., one of many to admit to wrongdoing in a far-reaching case. Three others — including Keith Hedman, 53, who led the scheme — were sentenced to varying prison terms in recent weeks.