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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Winchester Man Sentenced On Tax Charges

James Bowers Johnson To Serve 48 Months

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA -- A Winchester man who willfully failed to file personal tax returns for three years and attempted to obstruct the administration of the Internal Revenue Code, was sentenced this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

Following a jury trial in January 2013, James Bowers Johnson, 47, of Winchester, Va., was found guilty of one count of obstructing the Internal Revenue Service and three counts of willfully failing to file personal tax returns.

“All Americans must pay their fair share of federal taxes - something that Mr. Johnson intentionally chose not to do,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “Instead of abiding by the law and paying his taxes. Mr. Johnson hid income from the IRS and clogged the tax adjudication system with frivolous lawsuits and court filings. Today’s sentence demonstrates our commitment to holding tax cheats accountable and obtaining these much-needed funds from criminals who attempt to evade their legal obligation.”

Today in District Court, Johnson was sentenced to 48 months in Federal prison. In addition, Honorable Judge Norman K. Moon added 30 days of additional incarceration to the end of Johnson’s sentence after finding the defendant in contempt due to his behavior during today’s hearing.

Based on evidence presented at trial by Assistant United States Attorney C. Patrick Hogeboom III, the jury found that Johnson, who was self-employed, hid his gross income, derived from the sale of prepaid telephone cards, rental receipts and capital gains, from the Internal Revenue Service in a number of ways. He requested that customers place payments in a variety of nominee entities he controlled, used money orders or cash and concealed his owners of assets by placing assets, including his residence, and bank accounts in the names of limited liability companies, foundations, companies, corporations and domestic and foreign trusts. Between 1999 and 2007, Johnson attempted to conceal more than $1.4 million in income.

In addition, the jury found that Johnson, despite earning $160,000 in income in 2005, $385,000 in income in 2006 and $123,000 in income in 2007, willfully failed to file a tax return in any of those years.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney C. Patrick Hogeboom III prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated April 15, 2015