Judge Taxes Scammer With 18 Year Prison Sentence
PHILADELPHIA - Calvin Johnson, Jr., 35, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced today to 18 years in prison for participating in tax fraud conspiracies with a former IRS employee and several others. Johnson was convicted of conspiracy and filing false claims/tax returns to the IRS in a series of schemes that defrauded the U.S. Government of more than $1 million. Johnson was also found guilty of filing false claims while he was on pretrial release. U.S. District Court Judge Stewart Dalzell ordered Johnson to pay restitution in the amount of $1.24 million and ordered three years of supervised release.
Johnson and two co-conspirators, former IRS employee Patricia Fountain and Larry Ishmael, were convicted at trial in March 2013. The defendants solicited claimants whose personal information they used to file false tax returns claiming the Telephone Excise Tax Refund (TETR) in 2007 and the First Time Homebuyer Credit in 2009. These three defendants each received fraudulently obtained TETR refunds. Fountain also used one of the claimant’s information to file a false tax return in 2008. Fountain and Johnson also participated in separate schemes to file false tax returns between 2010 and 2012. Johnson continued his scheme while he was awaiting trial in this case.
For each of the schemes, the defendants charged claimants a cash fee. With respect to her TETR scheme, which Fountain engineered using inside information from the IRS, Fountain warned that she would “red flag” those claimants who received a refund without paying her $400 fee. She then filed amended returns for certain claimants whom she believed had not paid the fee, causing the IRS to demand repayment from them. Fountain and Ishmael pooled their cash fees for their mutual use, including an $11,299 down payment on a Mercedes Benz R350, which Fountain structured by paying $9,900 in cash and charging the rest to a credit card.
In addition to the charges of conspiracy and filing false claims/tax returns, Fountain was convicted of abusing her public office and extortion under color of official right. She was sentenced last week to 19 years in prison. Ishmael’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 26, 2013. Andre Bruce, Howard Chilsom, William Martin, and the defendant’s father, Calvin Johnson Sr., were all sentenced in April 2013.
The case was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and IRS Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joe Khan and Department of Justice, Tax Division Trial Attorney Tiwana L. Wright.
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