FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 6, 2014
For Information Contact:
District Man Sentenced to 18-Month Prison Term for Tax Fraud
Related to Embezzlement from Indonesian Airline
- Defendant Admitted Failure to Report Over $448,000 in Income -
WASHINGTON - Jon C. Cooper, 64, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to an 18-month prison term for one count of tax evasion related to his failure to report over $448,000 in income that he received in 2006.
The sentencing, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Thomas J. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).
Cooper pled guilty to the charge in October 2013. As part of his guilty plea, Cooper admitted that, in December 2006, he and a second defendant, Alan Messner, induced an Indonesian airline company to pay them a $1 million security deposit to lease two aircraft using various false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises – including forged and fraudulent documents. Cooper admitted that, after he received the $1 million security deposit, he transferred $284,500 to Messner in December 2006 and January 2007. Cooper spent the balance of the security deposit for his own personal benefit. Cooper and Messner did not provide the promised aircraft and did not return any funds to the Indonesian airline company.
Cooper admitted that he did not report at least $448,727 of those proceeds on his federal income tax return for 2006. Cooper further admitted that income he failed to report was the proceeds of criminal activity. By under-reporting his income, Cooper claimed a tax refund that year. As a result of Cooper’s tax evasion, Cooper caused a tax loss of at least $140,109 to the United States.
Cooper was sentenced by the Honorable Amy Berman Jackson. As part of his guilty plea, Cooper agreed to pay $140,109 owed to the United States. Cooper further agreed to make restitution of $1 million to the victimized Indonesian airline company. Upon completion of his prison term, Judge Jackson ordered that Cooper be placed on three years of supervised release.
In a related case, Messner, 41, of Rolling Meadows, Ill., pled guilty in August 2013 to one count of tax evasion, admitting that he failed to report any portion of the $284,500 that he received on his federal income tax returns, and admitting that the income came from criminal activity. Messner was sentenced by Judge Jackson on Feb. 21, 2014. She sentenced him to a year and a day in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. The judge also ordered him to pay $62,231 in restitution to the United States.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director Parlave, and Special Agent in Charge Kelly expressed appreciation for the work done by those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office the Washington Field Office of the IRS-CI. They also acknowledged the efforts of Trial Attorney Jessica Moran, of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division. Finally, they commended the work of those who handled the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Krishawn Graham and Donna Galindo, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard DiZinno and Jonathan Hooks, who investigated and indicted the case.14-056