Former Beach Resident Sentenced for Defrauding Navy Federal Credit Union and Filing False Tax Returns
NORFOLK, Va. – Donald A. Lawson, Jr., 46, formerly of Virginia Beach, Va., was sentenced today to 78 months in prison for bank fraud and aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns. The court also ordered Lawson to pay restitution to Navy Federal Credit Union in the amount of $631,785.96.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after Lawson was sentenced by United States District Judge Mark S. Davis. Lawson pled guilty to these charges on June 27, 2011.
According to court documents, Lawson defrauded Navy Federal Credit Union by soliciting prospective borrowers, who he knew were not sufficiently creditworthy to obtain an unsecured personal loan, and he filed fraudulent car loan applications in their names, even though he knew that no cars would actually be purchased with the loan proceeds. The loan applications were supported by false tax documents and pay stubs that Lawson prepared. Believing the loans were secured by collateral, the credit union approved the loans. To conceal the offense, Lawson created bogus auto sales companies and bank accounts in their names. He retained well over $300,000 for himself and a co-defendant in “fees” from the borrowers’ loan proceeds, which totaled approximately $800,000. The loans went into default, resulting in an aggregate loss to the credit union of over $630,000. In addition, Lawson operated a tax preparation business and filed fraudulent tax returns on behalf of clients that included false Schedule C businesses with bogus profit or loss figures, resulting either in inflated refunds or payment of taxes on understated income. The false returns resulted in a loss to the Internal Revenue Service of at least $54,000.
This case was investigated by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Katherine Lee Martin and Alan M. Salsbury prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.