Kentwood man sentenced to three years in prison for defrauding employer and filing false taxes


Date: November 4, 2022


NEW ORLEANS — U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that Michael J. Goll, of Kentwood, was sentenced on November 2, 2022, to three years in prison on charges of wire fraud and filing false federal tax returns by U.S. District Judge Wendy B. Vitter.

According to court documents, Goll was the New Orleans branch manager of Company A, which provides material handling equipment to businesses. From January 2013 through September 2017, Goll defrauded Company A of approximately $549,667.39. Goll is alleged to have executed the scheme by sending Company A false invoices from shell companies that he had created, when in fact the work was either done by Company A's own employees or the work was not done at all. Also, as part of the scheme, Goll had a contractor who did personal work for Goll inflate his bills to Company A to cover the work done for Goll. Goll justified the overbilling by telling the contractor that he planned on buying Company A in the future, although Goll never did purchase Company A, and Goll never told his employer about the overbilling.

Additionally, Goll pleaded guilty to filing false federal tax returns. According to court documents, Goll filed false personal income tax returns for tax years 2014 through 2017 in which he which he failed to accurately report his income, including the money that he embezzled from Company A. Moreover, Goll also counseled three other people, all of whom personally knew Goll, to file false tax returns. Goll told each of them that he had graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Orleans with a Ph.D. in business administration, a degree that the University of New Orleans does not actually offer. Goll persuaded the victims to become his business partners in a fake restaurant enterprise. Goll then instructed them to file tax returns claiming false business losses, and then Goll had them each pay to him a portion of their tax refund. Through his own false tax returns and those of the three others that he aided, Goll caused a tax loss to the United States of $188,694.00.

As to the charge of wire fraud, Goll was sentenced to three years in prison and three years of supervised release. For filing false tax returns, Goll was sentenced to three years in prison and one year of supervised release, to be served concurrently with the wire fraud charge. Additionally, Goll was ordered to pay $200 in mandatory special assessment fees. No fine was issued. A hearing regarding restitution will be held on a later date.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the U.S. Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, which investigated this case jointly. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew R. Payne is in charge of the prosecution.