A former Erie man currently serving 10 years in prison for violating federal firearm laws, will now spend an additional five years in prison for tax fraud.
On Monday, 52-year-old James Lamont Johnson swore several times and called the judge “crooked”, after he was sentenced to 60 months in prison, on charges of criminal conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.
Johnson is one of two people charged with stealing the identities of 56 clients of the Community of Caring.
Prosecutors say Johnson used Turbo Tax to file 71 tax returns, and successfully obtained more than $60,000 in fraudulent funds.
Johnson's co-defendant in this case, Katrina House, pleaded guilty to fraud in 2015, and received a two year sentence.
Johnson expressed several concerns about how his case was handled, and asked for the case to be dismissed.
U.S. District Judge David Cercone pointed out that Johnson entered a plea agreement, and sentenced him.
"He waived his rights, waived his rights to trial,” said Johnson’s lawyer Fred Walker. “There were no issues with the plea agreement, but I think, when you have clients that are waiting for trial, waiting for hearings, they get the advice of people who are waiting with them, sometimes in jail, and they are getting poor advice. I think what he got was poor advice."
Both Johnson and House must also pay back $60,000 in restitution.