Date: June 4, 2020
Jacksonville, Florida – The return of an indictment charging Charles Jon David with three counts of wire fraud and four counts of tax fraud was announced today. If convicted, David faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each wire fraud count and up to 3 years' imprisonment for each tax fraud count. The indictment also notifies David that the United States intends to forfeit at least $273,500, as well as to two parcels of real property, which are alleged to be the proceeds of the wire fraud.
According to the indictment, from at least May 2012 and continuing through late 2018, David was employed as the Director of Construction of Business Operations for a Jacksonville religious organization that provided services to more than 140,000 members through numerous churches in the Northeast Florida area. The organization owned many parcels of real property, some of which David was tasked with selling on behalf of the organization
Despite his fiduciary duties to work in the best financial interests of the religious organization, David, along with three other individuals, engaged in a scheme to defraud the organization in connection with the sales by offering two of the individuals exclusive opportunities to purchase the religious organization's property at below market-value prices. In exchange, the two individuals agreed to pay kickbacks to David. The kickbacks (totaling at least $204,500) were paid to David by check, from one of the two individuals, on at least five occasions.
The indictment further alleges that the scheme also included a transaction with a third individual in which David fraudulently represented to the religious organization that the third individual was a bona fide purchaser of the organization's property. In fact, at the time the religious organization sold the piece of property to the third individual, David had also arranged for a second purchaser to buy the real property from the third individual at a higher price, with the two sales closing on the same day. After the two sales closed, David received a check for $44,000 from the third individual.
David did not include kickback payments from the first two individuals, or money he received from the third individual, as income on his federal income tax returns for tax years 2015, 2016, and 2018. Additionally, David falsely underreported his income on his tax year 2013 return.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor.