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Press Release

Maryland Man Sentenced to More Than Four Years in Prison for Tax Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Failed to Report More than $4.8 Million in Income From Real Estate Transactions and Other Sources

            WASHINGTON – A Chevy Chase, Maryland man was sentenced to 54 months in prison today after pleading guilty to a federal tax evasion charge stemming from his failure to pay taxes on more than $4.8 million in income that he accrued over a six-year period, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and Special Agent in Charge Thomas Jankowski of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) Washington, D.C. Field Office.

            Cornell M. Jones Jr., 59, pleaded guilty on Jan 19 to one count of tax evasion.  According to the government’s evidence, Jones was the managing member of WFJ LLC, a Washington, D.C. company that engaged in real estate transactions.  He was also the executive director of Miracle Hands, a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C.  In 2012, the IRS revoked Miracle Hand’s tax-exempt status over its failure to file tax returns for 2009 through 2011.

            The government’s evidence showed that neither Jones nor WFJ filed returns for 2008 through 2013.  WFJ generated income through the sale and leasing of commercial properties in Northeast Washington, D.C., and through payments it received for consulting work purportedly done by Jones.  Jones used WFJ’s income for his personal benefit, which included more than $1 million in cash that he withdrew from WFJ bank accounts.  During the years 2008 through 2013, Jones received approximately $4,806,019 in taxable income that he failed to report to the IRS.  The tax due and owing to the United States on this amount is approximately $1,759,953.

            In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon ordered Jones to serve three years of supervised release, perform 360 hours of community service and pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $1,759,953.

            U.S. Attorney Phillips, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo, and Special Agent in Charge Jankowski thanked special agents of IRS-CI, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Saler for the District of Columbia and Trial Attorney Kenneth C. Vert of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.  Assistance was provided by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David A. Last, Arvind K. Lal and Michael K. Atkinson; Criminal Investigator Juan Juarez; Financial Analyst Bryan J. Snitselaar; and Paralegal Specialists C. Rosalind Pressley and Toni Donato, all of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

            Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.

Updated September 26, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-183