Charlotte Business Owner And Disaster Relief Loan “Consultant ” Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges For $1.2 Million COVID-19 Fraud Scheme
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – James Christopher Robinson, 51, of Granite Falls, N.C., appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler today and pleaded guilty to federal charges for tax and credit card fraud, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, Jason Byrnes, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Charlotte Field Office, and Donald "Trey" Eakins, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRC-CI), Charlotte Field Office, join U.S. Attorney King in making today's announcement.
According to filed plea documents and today’s court hearing, Robinson was the owner of multiple cabinet manufacturing and retail businesses in the Hickory area, including Cabinet Solutions USA Inc., Best Cabinet Doors, LLC, Cabinet Doors Fast, LLC, and Cox Manufacturing, LLC (collectively, Cabinet Companies). As Robinson admitted in court today, between March 2020 and April 2023, Robinson accessed the credit cards of Cabinet Companies’ customers and without authorization made 294 fraudulent credit card charges totaling approximately $1 million. Robinson also created at least four counterfeit checks totaling more than $93,000, using information from actual checks written to his Cabinet Companies by customers.
Plea documents also show that for tax years 2017 to 2022, Robinson caused two of his companies to fail to comply with their employment tax obligations by failing to timely account for and pay over more than $3.1 million in employment taxes. Court documents indicate that Robinson used the stolen funds to make large cash withdrawals from his business accounts and make hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash deposits at casinos.
Robinson pleaded guilty to access device fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, and failure to truthfully account for and pay over trust fund taxes which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Robinson is released on bond. A sentencing date has not been set.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the FBI, the Secret Service, and IRC-CI for their investigation of the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny G. Sugar of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte is prosecuting the case.