Defendant Also Set Fire to One Victim’s Apartment
WASHINGTON – Peter R. Dorney, 42, was sentenced today to 96 months in prison for arson and fraud charges, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, D.C. Fire and EMS Office of the Fire Marshal, and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.
Dorney pleaded guilty in April 2022, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to felony destruction of property for a February 2021 arson, and first-degree felony fraud charges. He was sentenced by the Honorable James A. Crowell IV. Following his prison term, Dorney will be placed on supervised release for three years.
According to the government’s evidence, Dorney targeted elderly women in the commission of his crimes. On February 4, 2021, at approximately 6:10 p.m., Dorney was inside the Gateway Georgetown Apartment Complex when he used a key to enter Apartment 332, the then-vacant apartment of the 92-year-old victim. Dorney used an open flame source to set a fire inside the apartment. The fire spread, causing over $1,000 in damage to the victim’s property, including walls, furniture, and papers. Then, between March 2021 and April 2021, Dorney made more than 70 unauthorized charges on an 80-year-old victim’s credit card, obtaining a total of $4,628.06 of her money by fraudulent means. On some occasions, Dorney brazenly treated mutual friends to expensive dinners using the victim’s credit card without her knowledge. Dorney has been in custody since his May 13, 2021 arrest.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of those investigating the case from the Metropolitan Police Department and D.C. Fire and E.M.S., especially Investigator Paul Gunshol. They also acknowledged the efforts of those working on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Gold, who investigated and prosecuted the case, Paralegal Specialist Debra McPherson, Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Nina Torabzadeh, on detail from the Office of the Attorney General to handle financial crimes cases involving elderly victims.