Former Ambulance Service Owner Charged with Tax Fraud
A Virginia man was arraigned today on an indictment charging tax fraud that was returned by a federal grand jury in Roanoke, Virginia, on Aug. 20, 2020. He was arrested upon entry into the United States after residing overseas for more than a year.
According to the indictment, from approximately 1987 through at least 2010 James C. Jones Jr., of Christiansburg, owned Lifeline Ambulance Service Inc. (Lifeline). From approximately January 2008 through December 2009, Jones allegedly withheld payroll taxes from Lifeline’s employees’ paychecks but willfully failed to pay over these taxes to the IRS. He also allegedly obstructed the IRS’s ability to collect these delinquent payroll taxes by making false statements on IRS forms, selling real estate he owned and transferring assets under his control in the United States to foreign and domestic nominee entities. Jones supported these foreign asset transfers by allegedly providing false documents to the IRS and causing his then-attorney to make false statements in response to a grand jury subpoena.
The indictment also charges that Jones submitted false individual tax returns each year from 2013 to 2018. In addition to tax fraud, the indictment further alleges that Jones submitted false applications to the Social Security Administration that omitted his domestic and foreign rental income.
Jones is charged with tax evasion, filing false individual tax returns, corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the IRS, obstruction of justice and making a false statement regarding Social Security benefits. Jones was arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel C. Hoppe for the Western District of Virginia. If convicted, Jones faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on the tax evasion charge, 10 years on the obstruction of justice charge, three years on the tax obstruction charge and each count of filing a false tax return and five years on the Social Security fraud count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.
IRS - Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.
Trial Attorneys Parker Tobin and Todd Ellinwood of the Justice Department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.