Commissioner charged with money laundering now facing new charges for tax fraud

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Caddo Commissioner already facing 26 federal counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering on Wednesday was indicted by a federal grand jury on two new charges.

In an indictment handed down by a federal grand jury on Dec. 18, 2019, Lynn D. Cawthorne, 52, of Shreveport, was charged with two counts aiding and assisting in making and subscribing a false tax return for the years 2013 and 2014, according to U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph.

He will be arraigned Jan. 8, 2020, on the new charges by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark L. Hornsby. If convicted, Cawthorne will face up to three years in prison, a $100,000 fine and one year of supervised release for each count.

The indictment alleges Cawthorne willfully withheld information from his accountant when he reported an adjusted gross income of $7,555 for calendar year 2013 and an adjusted gross income of $9,529 for calendar year 2014.

According to the indictment, Cawthorne knew the information he presented to his accountant was false, which prevented his accountant from accurately reporting income for the years 2013 and 2014.

This indictment is separate from April 2018 indictment in which Cawthorne and his sister were charged with stealing more than $536,000 from a program meant to supply meals to children during the summer.

On April 26, 2018, a grand jury returned an eight-count indictment charging them with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and seven counts of wire fraud.

Then, 10 months later, on Feb. 28, 2019, additional charges were brought in a superseding indictment that added 18 counts of money laundering-related charges.

Cawthorne and his sister operated United Citizens and Neighborhoods (UCAN), as president and director, respectively. UCAN was a non-profit corporation that participated in the Summer Feeding Service Program (SFSP), which is administered by the Louisiana Department of Education Division of Nutrition Support. The SFSP was established to ensure that children in low-income areas continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session during the summer. 

Special agents with the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Tennille M. Gilreath is prosecuting the case.

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