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Roscoe C. Howard, Jr.
United States Attorney for the
District of Columbia

Judiciary Center
555 4th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530


July 16, 2003
For Information Contact Public Affairs
Channing Phillips     (202)514-6933

Federal jury convicts local attorney of tax charges

Washington, D.C. - United States Attorney Roscoe C. Howard, Jr., Gregory Szczeszek, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and Phil Brand, Deputy Chief Financial Officer for the District of Columbia, announced that a federal jury today convicted local attorney Navron Ponds, 54, of Washington, D.C., on a variety of tax charges and related criminal offenses. The conduct at issue occurred from 1988 through 1999. The defendant was convicted of five felony counts of tax evasion as follows: 1988 and 1990 through 1994 (in a single count), 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. In addition, the defendant was convicted of the corresponding misdemeanor counts of Failure to Pay Taxes and Failure to File Returns for the corresponding years. He was also convicted of Fraud in the First Degree and Wire Fraud. The verdicts were delivered after an 11-day trial before the Honorable John D. Bates. Ponds faces a potential sentence in excess of 35 years of incarceration when sentenced on October 16, 2003.

According to the scheme set forth in the Indictment and the evidence introduced at trial, Ponds failed to file timely federal personal income tax returns for calendar years 1988 and 1990 through 1994. When he finally filed for these years in October 1995, he reported a substantial tax deficiency. In late 1995 and early 1996, Ponds paid a total of $2,360 towards his 1988 return, but has failed to make any other payments for these tax years since 1995. In late 1995, the IRS assessed his total deficiency for years 1988 and 1990-1994 at over $60,000. As of the date of the indictment, as interest has accrued, he owed over $117,000 for these years. Furthermore, Ponds failed to file returns for calendar years 1996 through 1999, and owed significant amounts in tax revenue for these four years as well.

Additionally, according to the government's evidence, since 1996, upon becoming aware that the Internal Revenue Service was attempting to collect on past taxes, Ponds took numerous steps to evade payment and evade assessment of taxes, including, for example, transferring the title of automobiles (a Porsche and Mercedes) to his sister, selling a rental property and causing his sister to open an annuity account in her name with the proceeds. Ponds used the funds in that annuity account for his personal use and benefit.

Lastly, Ponds was convicted of Fraud in the First Degree for his failure to file income tax returns or pay District of Columbia income taxes subsequent to 1992, and Wire Fraud relating to a particular aspect of the overall scheme.

In announcing the jury's verdict, United States Attorney Howard, Special Agent Szczeszek and Deputy Chief Financial Officer Brand commended Special Agents Nancy Becker and Randolph O. Gregory and Revenue Agent Rene Brown of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and Special Agent Joseph Sadler and Senior Auditor David Baynes from the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue. They also commended Paralegal Jeanie Latimore-Brown of the United States Attorney's Office for her assistance in preparation of this case for trial, Assistant United States Attorney Mary Ann Snow for her assistance at the motions hearing, and Assistant United States Attorney Mark H. Dubester who handled the grand jury investigation, motions and trial.

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This page updated July 21, 2003.