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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 20, 2019

Former Non-Profit Organization President Lynn D. Cawthorne Facing New Federal Charges

SHREVEPORT, La. United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that a federal grand jury indicted Lynn D. Cawthorne, 52, of Shreveport, on December 18, 2019, charging him with aiding and assisting in making and subscribing a false return.

The indictment includes two counts involving false returns for the tax years 2013 and 2014. The defendant willfully withheld information from his accountant when he reported an adjusted gross income of $7,555 for calendar year 2013 and an adjusted gross income of $9,529 for calendar year 2014. Cawthorne knew the information he presented to his accountant was false, which prevented his accountant from accurately reporting income for the years 2013 and 2014.

In April 2018, Cawthorne and his sister were indicted for stealing more than $536,000 from a program meant to supply meals to children during the summer. On April 26, 2018, a grand jury returned an eight-count indictment charging them with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and seven counts of wire fraud. On February 28, 2019, additional charges were brought in a superseding indictment adding 18 counts of money laundering-related charges.

Cawthorne and his sister operated United Citizens and Neighborhoods (UCAN), as president and director, respectively. UCAN was a non-profit corporation that participated in the Summer Feeding Service Program (SFSP), which is administered by the Louisiana Department of Education Division of Nutrition Support. The SFSP was established to ensure that children in low-income areas continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session during the summer. 

Cawthorne is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark L. Hornsby on January 8, 2020, to be arraigned for the tax charges. If convicted Cawthorne faces up to three years in prison, a $100,000 fine, and one year of supervised release for each count.

Special agents with the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Tennille M. Gilreath is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Topic(s): 
Tax
Updated December 20, 2019