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Virginia ambulance company owner convicted of tax fraud; likely hid money in Caribbean

Crystal Graham
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A federal jury convicted a Virginia man Tuesday of evading the payment of employment taxes, filing false tax returns and obstructing the IRS.

James C. Jones Jr., of Christiansburg, owned and operated Lifeline Ambulance Service Inc.

Jones faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for tax evasion, three years in prison for each false return count and three years in prison for obstructing the IRS. He also faces a period of supervised release and monetary penalties.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, from January 2008 through December 2009, Jones was responsible for paying to the IRS approximately $200,000 in federal income and Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from Lifeline’s employees’ wages.

However, he did not pay those withholdings to the IRS. As a result, in December 2009, the IRS assessed the unpaid employment taxes against Jones personally.

To obstruct IRS efforts to collect those taxes, Jones misrepresented that he did not have sufficient funds and assets to pay when, in fact, Jones owned multiple apartments and bank accounts in the Caribbean and a classic car collection.

Jones continued to obstruct IRS collection efforts by filing false tax returns for 2013 through 2018 that did not report the rental income from his Caribbean properties and claimed false deductions.

Jones also falsely represented to the Justice Department that he did not have records responsive to a subpoena ordering him to produce foreign bank records, when in fact, he possessed these records as the director and owner of multiple foreign holding companies.

IRS-CI is investigating the case.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.