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Judge Sentences Former Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustments Chairman to Prison for Theft

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PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Dr. James E. Moylan, 57, a Philadelphia chiropractor and the former Chair of the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustments, was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release, $52,898 restitution to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 98, and $77,885 restitution (plus penalties and interest) to the IRS by United States District Court Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehl for stealing civic funds and filing false federal income tax returns. 

The defendant was charged by Indictment in January 2019 with 17 counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false federal income tax returns.  In October 2019, Moylan pleaded guilty to all charges, admitting that he defrauded both Local 98 and a related entity – 298, Inc., a non-profit organization – of more than $50,000 in funds which he claimed he would use for community support and education, but which he actually used to pay his personal mortgage and business expenses. Moylan also filed false federal income tax returns for the years 2012 through 2015, in which he underreported more than $200,000 in income and claimed false business expenses.  

“Moylan knew what his responsibilities were as a public official and as a taxpayer, and he ignored them for his own personal benefit,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams. “In doing so, he cheated a non-profit organization meant to benefit the entire community, and he cheated all taxpayers by lying to the IRS. This office and our partners will continue aggressively investigating and prosecuting fraudsters who choose to line their pockets rather than operate honestly.”

“Mr. Moylan’s failure to pay his fair share of taxes is a slap in the face to honest and law-abiding citizens who do not shirk their tax obligations,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Guy Ficco. “The sentence he received today underscores our relentless pursuit of those who would attempt to defraud America's tax system.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul L. Gray, Frank R. Costello, and Bea Witzleben.