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Press Release

Former Director of World Ambassadors, LTD Sentenced for Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA--A Cedar Rapids man who admitted filing a fraudulent income tax return was sentenced yesterday to 8-months imprisonment.

Jon S. Petersen, 55, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after a guilty plea to one count of filing a false tax return. 

At his guilty plea hearing, Petersen admitted to filing a fraudulent income tax return for calendar year 2013.  The return failed to include as income donations he diverted from World Ambassadors into his own personal checking account.  In a plea agreement, Petersen admitted he used approximately $114,581 of those funds in 2013 for his own personal use, and such funds constituted taxable income to him.  From 2005-2015, Petersen claimed to struggle with a sex addiction.  It became costly so Petersen would pay for this addiction through his credit cards, home equity lines of credit, and World Ambassadors donations.  World Ambassadors is a nonprofit corporation.

Petersen was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Petersen will serve three months in Bureau of Prisons custody and five-months home confinement.  A special assessment of $100.00 was imposed, and he was ordered to make $79,732.35 in restitution to donors of World Ambassadors.  He must also serve a one-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Petersen was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date yet to be set.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matt Cole and investigated by the Internal Revenue Service.  Court file information at: The case file number is 16-CR-39-LTS.

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Updated September 22, 2016