Luck runs out for “Brother Jerry Love”

A federal judge today sentenced a Kansas City man to 13 years for leading a $100 million national tax fraud conspiracy.

Gerald A. Poynter, known as “Brother Jerry Love,” 48, pleaded guilty previously to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by filing a fraudulent tax return and one count of filing a fraudulent tax return.

Prosecutors called it the largest federal false claims case ever prosecuted in Missouri. According to their press release:

Poynter admitted to filing 281 fraudulent tax returns from July 1, 2008 to Sept. 21, 2011. Conspirators claimed a total of $96 million in fraudulent tax returns were due and the IRS mistakenly paid out $3.5 million of them.

Some people got hundreds of thousands of dollars in refunds. Poynter, to hide his involvement, asked them to call his fees “love donations” and often told them to write checks to “Jerry Love Ministries.”

He also used computer software to file returns electronically from his karate studio in Blue Springs.

And he filed false returns in his own name and those of his family members and personally recruited 44 filers in the scheme.

He submitted at least $25 million in false claims, which caused a tax loss of at least $951,000.

He also conducted a massive training session in Georgia, did numerous seminars and conference calls nationwide and maintained a web site called “luckytown” to promote his scheme.

At the 2008 Georgia training session, prosecutors said, “he also joked that his going to prison was a possibility.”

The judge today also ordered him to pay the government $951,930 in restitution.

Leave a Comment