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November 4, 08

NEWS / LOCAL ATTORNEY JAMES PERDIGAO PLEADS GUILTY TO 30 FEDERAL FELONY CHARGES - ALSO FORFEITS $30 MILLION


NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JAMES G. PERDIGAO, age 46, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana pled guilty to thirty (30) counts contained in the Second Superseding Indictment by a Federal Grand Jury for mail fraud, bank fraud, interstate transportation of stolen funds, money laundering, income tax evasion, filing false income tax returns, obstruction of justice, unlawful computer intrusion and unlawful access to stored communications, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten, along with David W. Welker, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Michael J. DePalma, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.

Specifically, PERDIGAO pled guilty to Counts 1, 13, 31 through 56, 60 and 61of the Second Superseding Indictment. PERDIGAO further consents to forfeiture of approximately $30 million to the United States that was charged in the Second Superseding Indictment, and which PERDIGAO admittedly stole as part of his elaborate fraud scheme.

According to court documents, PERDIGAO, a former partner at the law firm of Adams and Reese, provided legal services to companies in Louisiana’s gambling industry. PERDIGAO admitted today in court to stealing checks belonging to Adams & Reese and depositing those checks into accounts controlled by PERDIGAO. Further, he admitted stealing a tax refund check payable in the amount of $485,000 to Horseshoe Entertainment, which was being acquired by Harrah’s. Once these checks were deposited, they became available for withdrawal and thus exposed the banks, such as Bank One (now Chase) to the risk of civil liability and financial loss.

PERDIGAO also admitted to concocting a fraudulent billing scheme whereby he would submit phony invoices to his clients including Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. and Boomtown, causing them to remit millions of dollars in fraudulent payments.

According to court records, during a one-week period in October, 2004, PERDIGAO wired nearly $20,000,000 to a Swiss bank account that he controlled in Zurich, Switzerland. Additionally, PERDIGAO pled guilty to tax evasion and filing false tax returns, for the tax calendar years 2000 through 2004. The tax due and owing by PERDIGAO exceeds approximately $4,500,000 as indicated in the indictment. The indictment and prosecution of individuals who intentionally conceal income and evade taxes is a vital element in maintaining the public confidence in our tax system. Income from all sources, legal and illegal is taxable.

By failing to report substantial taxable income and utilizing fraudulent losses on these tax returns, PERDIGAO qualified himself for the earned income tax credit. The earned income tax credit is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income, working individuals and families.

PERDIGAO faces a maximum term of imprisonment of over 300 years. He also faces possible fines of over $8 million, as well as criminal forfeiture of $30 million. Sentencing has been scheduled for February 11, 2009.

U. S. Attorney Jim Letten, speaking to today’s conviction and forfeiture, stated:

“As the result of the expertise, hard work and dedication of the prosecution team, including FBI and IRS Special Agents, a local attorney who had misused his position of trust to grossly enrich himself in a contorted scheme of theft and obstruction, has been brought to justice through his own admission of guilt. Defendant JAIME PERDIGAO, by openly admitting his guilt to 30 counts of fraud, theft, tax and bank violations, computer hacking, and obstruction of justice, has further demonstrated that this investigation and prosecution by the United States was and is sound, and our evidence uncontroverted and overwhelming. Moreover, today’s guilty plea, along with the U. S. District Court’s previous rejection of PERDIGAO’S myriad claims against the United States, is confirmation that PERDIGAO’s legal filings, evolving over many months, were absolutely without any merit whatsoever, and were part of a desperate and vicious attack in an attempt to escape punishment for such crimes. As we have prevailed in this case through professionalism and determination, we will continue to follow evidence of crime wherever it takes us.”

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorneys James Mann, Salvador Perricone, Brian M. Klebba, and Loan “Mimi” Nguyen.
http://neworleans.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/2008/no103108.htm

Tags: court records, document, criminal investigation, court record,
 




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