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Press Release

Alabama Man Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Birmingham man pleaded guilty today to tax evasion, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town for the Northern District of Alabama. 

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2011, John P. Cooney, 70, filed delinquent tax returns for 2008 through 2010, in which admitted that he owed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) approximately $780,000, but did not include any payment. Rather, to evade his tax obligation, Cooney created a nominee entity, GVA Advisors, LLC (GVA), and directed that income from his employer and dividends from his investments be paid to an account in GVA’s name, rather than to him directly. From 2013 through 2016, Cooney deposited more than $435,000 into the GVA account, concealing the funds from the IRS. In all, as result of his actions, Cooney owed by 2017 more than $1.3 million in outstanding balances, penalties, and interest to the IRS.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 28, 2020.  At sentencing, Cooney faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison.  He also faces a period of supervised release and monetary penalties. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Cooney has agreed to pay restitution of $1,311,904 to the United States. 

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Town commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Crosby Long and Trial Attorneys Alexander Effendi and Kathryn Sparks of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting this case.

Updated February 18, 2020

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 20-194