RIVERSIDE, California – A man facing federal charges related to a $10 million lien filed against an Internal Revenue Service employee has been ordered held without bond pending trial after being arrested last week by federal agents.
James R. Vanderveldt was arrested Thursday morning and arraigned on Thursday afternoon in United States District Court. The Court entered a not guilty plea on his behalf under the name of “John Doe” after he refused to enter a plea to the charges.
A federal grand jury on Wednesday returned a two-count indictment that charges Vanderveldt with retaliation against a federal law enforcement officer by filing a false lien and obstructing the administration of the internal revenue laws. The indictment alleges that the crimes took place in San Bernardino County.
At Vanderveldt’s court appearance on Thursday, a trial was scheduled for January 12, 2016 before United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal. If he is convicted of the two counts, Vanderveldt would face a statutory maximum sentence of 13 years in federal prison.
“The filing of fraudulent liens against government officials is more than harassment – it is a crime,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Use of this tactic to intimidate or deter a public official from doing his or her duty will fail.”
According to the indictment, Vanderveldt filed a false lien against the real and personal property of IRS employee “D.H.” that claimed the employee and D.H.’s spouse owed Vanderveldt $10 million. The false lien was allegedly filed in 2010 “on account of D.H.’s performance of his official duties.”
Vanderveldt is also charged in the indictment with “sending a false bill and other materials to D.H. that referenced a $10,000,000 debt that D.H. and D.H.’s spouse purportedly owed to Vanderveldt. In truth and in fact, as defendant Vanderveldt then well knew, neither D.H. nor D.H.’s spouse were indebted to defendant Vanderveldt.”
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
The case against Vanderveldt was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).