Former Columbia man gets federal prison


A former Columbia resident was sentenced to federal prison last week.

United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Stephen R. Wigginton announced Friday that James L. Quirin, 59, of Sauget, was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

In addition, Quirin must pay a $500 special assessment, restitution in the amount of $44,670 to the Illinois Unemployment Compensation Fund, and $384,780.36 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Quirin previously entered a guilty plea to one count of theft of government funds, three counts of tax evasion, and one count of filing a false tax return.

“Mr. Quirin has finally been held accountable for his serial criminal activity. He is now a convicted felon, admitted liar and admitted tax cheat who will spend the next 27 months in a federal prison. Every time he stole from the unemployment program, he took taxpayer monies that should have gone to legitimately unemployed persons who are trying to find jobs,” Wigginton said.

Quirin applied for unemployment insurance benefits in February 2009, even though he was a gainfully employed businessman receiving significant income. Most of the payments he received were made out to business entities with which he was associated.

In March 2009, in order to conceal his true income, he began converting these checks to cash at a money services business located at a tavern in St. Louis (over $900,000 through January 2013.)

Quirin falsely informed the state that he met unemployment criteria, even though he had worked, had been paid, and on some occasions was unavailable to work because he was vacationing in Costa Rica.

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