Kentwood Man Charged with Defrauding Employer and Filing False Taxes

Published 11:21 am Friday, February 18, 2022

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced the filing of a two-count bill of information charging MICHAEL J. GOLL, age 46, of Kentwood, with wire fraud and filing false federal tax returns. The charges were filed on Friday, February 11, 2022. U.S. District Judge Wendy B. Vitter will preside over the case.

According to court documents, GOLL was the New Orleans branch manager of Company A, which provides material handling equipment to businesses. From January 2013 through September 2017, GOLL defrauded Company A of approximately $549,667.39. GOLL is alleged to have executed the scheme by sending Company A false invoices from shell companies that he had created, when in fact the work was either done by Company A’s own employees or the work was not done at all. As part of the scheme, GOLL had a contractor who did personal work for GOLL inflate his bills to Company A to cover the work done for GOLLGOLL justified the overbilling by telling the contractor that he planned on buying Company A in the future, although GOLL never did purchase Company A, and GOLL never told his employer about the overbilling. Moreover, the bill of information alleges that GOLL filed false federal tax returns, alleging for tax year 2017, GOLL claimed that he had negative income of $22,102.00, when in fact his income for 2017 was $325,232.00.

Count 1 of the bill of information charges GOLL with wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. The maximum penalties he faces as to that count are 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.00. Count 2 charges GOLL with filing false federal tax returns in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1). The maximum penalties for this count are 3 years in prison, up to one year of supervised release, and a fine of up to $100,000.00. Each count also carries a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.

U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that a bill of information is merely an accusation and that the guilt of a defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew R. Payne is in charge of the prosecution.