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Muskogee Woman Sentenced To 4 Years In Federal Prison For Adoption Scam

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Davanna Dotson pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced Monday. Davanna Dotson pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced Monday.
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma -

A Muskogee woman who scammed couples in 22 states through adoption fraud will spend 48 months in federal prison.

Davanna Dotson pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced Monday.

The judge gave the case a lot of thought. He listened to several victims testify a few weeks ago and Dotson had her chance to speak Monday, but rather than make it about what she did to others, those who were there say she made it all about herself.

I met Davanna Dotson, only over the phone, when I broke this story two years ago. She told me she had to give up a child for adoption years before, so she deserved the money she was getting. She told me she didn't think taking money from couples was wrong or that what she did had hurt anybody.

9/22/2011 Related Story: Muskogee Woman Accused Of Adoption Fraud

"Adoption agencies take advantage of couples and get 50 grand from them, so what's 600 or 400--I don't understand," Dotson said.

Police say, even after she was arrested, she kept telling desperate, childless couples she had a baby for them to adopt, and sent them a picture. Then she'd claim she needed money to make the drive to deliver him to their state, sometimes for a car seat or formula or a hotel room.

But she wasn't driving, she was sitting in Oklahoma, and there was no baby.

Several victims told the judge heart wrenching stories of the years they tried to conceive, of believing they were about to adopt a baby to raise as their own, how they borrowed and bought baby items and decorated nurseries in anticipation of finally becoming parents, only to find out it was all a pack of lies.

"It's unbelievable someone could continue to do it over and over," said Heather Boyd, who said she fell victim to Dotson's scam.

7/25/2013 Related Story: Victims Testify At Muskogee Woman's Adoption Fraud Sentencing Hearing

Federal guidelines say Dotson could've gotten two years in prison, if prosecutors could prove at least one of the victims was considered vulnerable under the law.

Doing that would allow the judge to add more time to Dotson's sentence, which he did--he gave her four years.

Those who were there say, when it was Dotson's turn to talk to the judge, she kind of apologized, but mostly focused on herself, saying the judge didn't understand all she'd gone through and had no idea the names she'd been called since her arrest.

Federal prisons don't have parole, but if Dotson exhibits good behavior, she could be released after serving 85 percent of her sentence, which means she'd get out eight months early.

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