The owner of a company that provided assistance to truck owners in filing their paperwork and paying taxes has been indicted on several charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.
Elisa Christina Avila Jackson of Tallahassee, Florida, was arraigned Tuesday in federal court after being charged by a federal grand jury with five counts of wire fraud and one count of possessing a counterfeit Internal Revenue Service stamp.
The indictment alleges that between June 7, 2011 and February 11, 2014, Jackson conducted a scheme to defraud owners of tractor-trailers of money that was to be paid to the IRS relating to the federal Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax.
Jackson operated Bee’s Carrier Permitting and Licensing, which helped truck owners in preparing and filing their annual applications for registration with the State of Florida, according to prosecutors. As mandated by federal regulation, prior to issuing a vehicle registration, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles required operations, such as Bee’s, and others applying for annual tractor-trailer registrations, to provide a copy of a tax form stamped by the IRS as proof that the owner’s federal Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax had been paid.
Prosecutors claim Jackson collected from customers the amount due for the Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax and promised to pay it to the IRS. However, rather than sending it to the IRS, Jackson allegedly kept the money and created fraudulent IRS forms bearing a counterfeit IRS numbered remittance stamp, falsely indicating the tax has been paid. The indictment charges that through this scheme, Jackson fraudulently obtained approximately $248,000.
If convicted, Jackson faces up to 20 years in prison and a period of supervised release of up to three years, plus a fine of up to $250,000, on each of the five wire fraud charges. The charge of possession of an IRS stamp with intent to defraud carries a prison term of up to five years, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $10,000.
The trial is scheduled for November 3 in Tallahassee.