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Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Lying in Terrorism Investigation and False Claim Conspiracy

U.S. Attorney’s Office April 19, 2013
  • Middle District of Florida (813) 274-6000

ORLANDO—Senior U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell today sentenced Jonathan Paul Jimenez (age 28) to 10 years in federal prison for making a false statement to a federal agency in a matter involving international terrorism and conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. Jimenez was also ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release, upon his release from prison, and to pay $5,587 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. Jimenez pleaded guilty on August 28, 2012.

According to court documents, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was investigating an international terrorism matter regarding the operation of a travel facilitation network by Marcus Dwayne Robertson and others that sends individuals overseas to commit violent jihad. In November 2010, Jimenez relocated from New York to Central Florida, where he began training with Robertson in the skills necessary to participate in violent jihad overseas. The training with Robertson included martial arts, firearm and knife training, reading the Quran, and learning Arabic. During Jimenez’s training, Robertson stressed that Jimenez needed to focus on the religious aspects of his training prior to perfecting the skills needed to commit violent acts.

In late May and early June 2011, Jimenez, with the assistance of Robertson and others, began making preparations for his overseas travel. Robertson assisted Jimenez with getting his photographs for his visa application and his vaccinations. On June 17, 2011, Jimenez departed Central Florida and traveled to New York by airplane, where he expected to get his visa and then travel overseas.

During the course of the investigation, the FBI obtained evidence about the nature of Robertson’s training of Jimenez and the plan for Jimenez to travel overseas to engage in violent jihad. As part of the investigation, the FBI obtained consensually recorded conversations with Jimenez and others in which Jimenez stated his goals. When interviewed by the FBI on September 22, 2011, Jimenez lied about making those statements.

In order to have funds available for him when he was overseas, Jimenez and others conspired to submit a false 2010 tax return for Jimenez in which Jimenez falsely claimed three of Robertson’s children as his dependents and falsely represented that he lived with each of the three children for all of the year 2010. As a result of those false representations, Jimenez obtained a refund from the IRS in the amount of $5,587.

Robertson was arrested by the FBI on August 23, 2011, for being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded guilty to that offense on January 5, 2012, and is pending sentencing. On March 14, 2012, Robertson was indicted for conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. His trial is set for July 2013. An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

These cases were investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division. They are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.

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