Owner of Louisiana Automotive Businesses Pleads Guilty for Role in Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme

A resident of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, and the owner of two automotive businesses pleaded guilty today for his involvement in a stolen identity refund fraud scheme, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite Jr. of the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Martin Jackson Sr., 48, pleaded guilty to one count of a triple object conspiracy to defraud the United States, to commit theft of public money and mail fraud.  According to court documents, Jackson conspired with at least six other individuals to use stolen identities to file false federal income tax returns that fraudulently claimed tax refunds.  Jackson owns Woodscale Automotive Sales LLC and Woodscale Autobody and Mec. LLC.  He used the business bank accounts as part of the scheme.  Some of the co-conspirators prepared and filed the false tax returns using the stolen identity information and requested that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) mail the refund checks to addresses in Louisiana, including to post office boxes that were opened by co-conspirators.  Jackson deposited refund checks into his business bank accounts and gave cash or checks to his co-conspirators, while retaining a portion of the proceeds for himself.

Jackson is the final co-conspirator to plead guilty of the seven defendants indicted in this case.  Previously, Angela Chaney, 43, Thaddeus Richardson, 50, Corey Lewis, aka Coco, 37, Craig Lewis, 40, Brad Lewis, aka Bird, 32, and Cedrick Mitchell, aka Skeet, 39, pleaded guilty.  Their sentencings are scheduled in August and September.

U.S. District Court Judge Jay Zainey of the Eastern District of Louisiana set sentencing for Jackson on Oct. 6.  Jackson faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss caused by the offense and restitution.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo and U.S. Attorney Polite commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, who investigated the case, and Trial Attorneys Hayden Brockett and Lauren Castaldi of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dall Kammer of the Eastern District of Louisiana, who are prosecuting the case.

SOURCE: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

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