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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

District Man Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud Related To Embezzlement Of Indonesian Airline- Admits Failure To Report Over $448,000 In Income -

     WASHINGTON - Jon C. Cooper, 64, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty on Oct. 9, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of tax evasion related to his failure to report over $448,000 in income he received in 2006.

     The guilty plea, which took place on Oct. 9, 2013, was announced today by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Thomas J. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

     As part of his guilty plea, Cooper admitted that, in December 2006, he and Alan Messner induced an Indonesian airline company to pay them a $1 million security deposit to lease two aircraft using various false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises – including forged and fraudulent documents.  Cooper admitted that, after he received the $1 million security deposit, he transferred $284,500 to Messner in December 2006 and January 2007.  Cooper spent the balance of the security deposit for his own personal benefit.  Cooper and Messner did not provide the promised aircraft and did not return any funds to the Indonesian airline company.

     Cooper admitted that he did not report at least $448,727 of those proceeds on his federal income tax return for 2006.  Instead, by under-reporting his income, Cooper claimed a tax refund that year.  As a result of Cooper’s tax evasion, Cooper caused a tax loss of at least $133,464 to the United States.

     Cooper is to be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2014, before the Honorable Amy Berman Jackson.  He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  In addition, as part of his guilty plea, Cooper agreed to pay $133,464 owed to the United States.  Cooper further agreed to make restitution of $1 million to the victimized Indonesian airline company.

     In a related case, Messner, 41, of Rolling Meadows, Ill., pled guilty in August 2013 to one count of tax evasion, admitting that he failed to report any portion of the $284,500 he received on his federal income tax returns.  Messner is to be sentenced on Dec. 13, 2013. Messner faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As part of his guilty plea, Messner agreed to pay the full $62,231 which he owed to the United States.

     In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director Parlave, and Special Agent in Charge Kelly expressed appreciation for the work done by those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Washington Field Office of the IRS-CI. They also acknowledged the efforts of Trial Attorney Jessica Moran, of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division. Finally, they commended the work of those who handled the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Krishawn Graham, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard DiZinno and Jonathan Hooks, who investigated and indicted the case.


Updated February 19, 2015