Church Treasurer Admits to Falsifying Corporate Records Produced to a Federal Grand Jury
Jeffrey Mont Back-dated Corporate Records of Seed Faith International Church to Provide in Response to a Federal Grand Jury Subpoena
Greenbelt, Maryland - Jeffrey Mont, a/k/a J.J. Mont, age 33, of Indian Head, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to obstruction of an official proceeding.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Acting Special Agent in Charge Eric C. Hylton of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.
According to his plea agreement, beginning in June 2008, Mont was a volunteer with Seed Faith International Church. In 2009, a federal grand jury was investigating possible violations of federal laws by Robert Freeman, who operated the church. The focus of the investigation related to luxury vehicles and expensive real estate that the church purchased, through nominee buyers, for the personal benefit of Freeman and his spouse. Freeman and his spouse had not declared these assets as required in their bankruptcy proceeding.
On November 24, 2009, a federal grand jury subpoena was issued requiring the church to produce corporate records, and on December 9, 2009, the federal grand jury subpoena was served on Mont in his capacity as treasurer of the church. Mont and Freeman caused back-dated corporate records to be created in response to the subpoena, copies of which Mont produced to the federal grand jury on December 24, 2009, along with other documents. As requested, on January 27, 2010, Mont produced originals of some records he had provided previously, including some of the back-dated records. The back-dated records purported to memorialize the conditions pursuant to which church members purchased vehicles and real estate used by Freeman and his wife. In fact, Mont knew that no such documents, programs or corporate resolutions existed at the time of the purchases.
Mont faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus has scheduled sentencing for June 25, 2012 at 4:00 p.m.
Robert J. Freeman, a/k/a Dr. Shine, age 55, of Indian Head, Maryland, pleaded guilty on July 18, 2011, to obstructing bankruptcy court proceedings for failing to disclose to the bankruptcy court all real or personal property, including a home and luxury vehicles purchased with church funds. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 at his sentencing scheduled on May 7, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the IRS-CI for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Mara Zusman Greenberg and Stuart A. Berman, who are prosecuting the case.