Hampton Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding the United States
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – James Allen Sutton, 32, of Hampton, Va. pled guilty today to a conspiracy to defraud the United States, a conspiracy to launder money, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Thomas J. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s Washington, D.C., Field Office, and Carl J. Vasilko, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States Magistrate Judge Doug Miller.
Sutton was indicted March 13, 2013, in a conspiracy to impede and impair the IRS, false tax and loan statements, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering, drug conspiracy, drug distribution and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and felon in possession of a firearm. Based on his guilty pleas he faces a maximum penalty of five years on the conspiracy to defraud the United States, twenty years on the money laundering conspiracy and ten years on the firearm conviction when he is sentenced on September 24, 2013.
According to a statement of facts filed with his plea, in 2009, following an auto accident, police seized $18,000 in currency from Sutton. He contested the forfeiture of the money into May, 2011, when he was arrested with approximately $13,000 in currency, jewelry, a firearm and a quantity of marijuana. Sutton has a prior felony conviction and was therefore a prohibited person not allowed to possess firearms. Police also recovered false 1099 forms written by his co-conspirator which Sutton used to show a legitimate source of income and obtain loans including a re-financing of his home. Sutton used these amounts on his tax returns in 2007-2009. The co-conspirator was also prosecuted and admitted to falsifying the 1099 forms for Sutton to disguise his drug income. Following his arrest, in 2011, Sutton caused the co-conspirator to file a false affidavit with the Newport News Circuit Court where she falsely claimed the money seized belonged to her and was a loan to Sutton. As a result, the money was released to the co-conspirator for Sutton.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, Newport News Police Department and ATF. Assistant United States Attorney Howard J. Zlotnick is prosecuting 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.