ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — The former head of planning, construction and land management at the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine has been indicted on tax and wire fraud charges after kickbacks were not reported on tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The indictment charges Charles Jon David, 57, of Jacksonville with three counts of wire fraud and four more of tax fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count and up to three more for each tax fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The indictment says David would have to forfeit at least $273,500 and two pieces of property bought with proceeds if found guilty.
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The Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine, which covers 17 counties in Northeastern Florida, had no comment on the indictment other than David has not been employed there for some time.
According to the indictment, David and three others engaged in a scheme to offer two of them exclusive opportunities to buy some diocesan property below market-value prices. In exchange, the two agreed to pay kickbacks to David from mid-2012 through at least late 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The kickbacks were paid by check on at least five occasions.
The scheme also included a transaction where David fraudulently stated a third person was a bona fide buyer of diocesan property. David also arranged for a second person to buy the property from the third one at a higher price, the indictment said. After the two sales, David received a check for $44,000 from the third person.
David did not record any of the payments as income on his tax returns for 2015, 2016 and 2018 and falsely under-reported income on his 2013 return, prosecutors said.
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