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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 18, 2014

Former College Bookstore Director Pleads Guilty To Fraud And False Tax Return Charges

A former director of the Clarke University bookstore in Dubuque, Iowa, who used a fictitious book supply company to falsely bill the University for more than $300,000.00, pled guilty today in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

James Spaulding, age thirty-five, from Longmont, Colorado, was convicted of one count of mail fraud and two counts of filing false tax returns.

In a plea agreement, Spaulding admitted he was the director of the Clarke University Bookstore between 2011 and 2012.  Spaulding and his friend, T.D., created a fictitious corporation called RVP Wholesale Books (“RVP”), then caused RVP to issue false invoices to Clarke University purporting to show that RVP supplied the Clarke University bookstore with books.  In truth, RVP never supplied the Clarke University bookstore with any books.  Spaulding and T.D. split the proceeds of the fraud, totaling more than $302,000.00.  Spaulding filed false tax returns for 2011 and 2012 in which he failed to disclose the illegal proceeds he obtained from the fraud.  Spaulding later lied to a federal grand jury in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, by claiming RVP supplied the Clarke University bookstore with books.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Spaulding was taken into custody by the United States Marshal after the guilty plea and will remain in custody pending sentencing.  Spaulding faces a possible maximum sentence of twenty-six years’ imprisonment, a $750,000 fine, $300 in special assessments, seven years of supervised release following any imprisonment, and must pay the costs of prosecution.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney C.J. Williams and was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Dubuque Police Department.  Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.  The case file number is 14-cr-1022.

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Updated February 19, 2015