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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 17, 2015

New Hampshire Man Sentenced to Prison for Conspiracy to File False Tax Returns in Connection to a Fraud Against a Dubuque College Bookstore

On Thursday, July 16, 2015, a New Hampshire man who filed false tax returns was sentenced to a year in federal Prison.

Thomas DeFelice, age 37, was sentenced to 12 months in prison in federal court in Cedar Rapids.  His case was connected to that of James Spaulding, age 35, from Longmont, Colorado, who was previously convicted of one count of mail fraud and two counts of filing false tax returns, and sentenced to 57 months in federal prison.

In plea agreements, Spaulding and DeFelice admitted Spaulding was the director of the Clarke University Bookstore between 2011 and 2012.  Spaulding and DeFelice 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 DeFelice split the proceeds of the fraud, totaling more than $302,000.00.  Spaulding convinced DeFelice that there were, in fact, books purchased through RVP and delivered to Clarke University.  DeFelice agreed with Spaulding, however, to falsely inflate the purported cost of goods sold so as to fraudulently decrease RVP’s and their personal tax liabilities.  Spaulding and DeFelice therefore filed false tax returns for 2011 and 2012 in which they failed to disclose the illegal proceeds obtained from the fraud.  Spaulding later lied to a federal grand jury in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, by falsely claiming RVP supplied the Clarke University bookstore with books.

DeFelice was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade.  DeFelice was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed, and he was ordered to pay all taxes and penalties owed in connection with the false tax returns.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.  DeFelice was permitted to self-surrender to a federal prison at a later date.

The cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney C.J. Williams and were investigated by the Dubuque Police Department and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.

Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.  The case file numbers are 14-CR-1022-LRR for Spaulding and 15-CR-1005-LRR for DeFelice.

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Updated July 17, 2015