A sex offender in Washington who tried to deceive a federal judge into awarding a $3 million default judgment pleaded guilty today to charges that included conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice.
Prosecutors said David Copeland-Jackson, 37, attempted to obtain a judgment in a defamation action against one of his victims. Copeland-Jackson, who was arrested on the conspiracy charge in July 2009, did not receive any money. He has been detained since his arrest.
Judge Richard Leon scheduled Copeland-Jackson’s sentencing for May 12. He faces a sentence of up to five years on the conspiracy charge and a maximum of 20 years on an unrelated mail fraud charge that involved a financial aid scheme. Copeland-Jackson pleaded guilty to the mail fraud charge today.
Copeland-Jackson’s attorneys, including Stephen Brennwald of Washington’s Brennwald & Robertson, agreed with prosecutors on a sentence of between 51 and 63 months. Click here for an FBI agent’s 26-page affidavit in support of an arrest warrant.
The fraud plot was tied to Copeland-Jackson's sex crimes in Ohio. Copeland-Jackson served three years in prison for a sex crimes conviction in Ohio in 2000, according to court papers prosecutors filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He was ordered not to have any contact with either of the two teenage victims.
In 2007, on parole, Copeland-Jackson filed a one-page $3 million defamation suit in Washington’s federal trial court. The suit alleged the victim made false statements about Copeland-Jackson’s sexual activity with the victim.
Prosecutors allege Copeland-Jackson filed pleadings both on behalf of himself as the plaintiff and for the defendant. The conspiracy included a bogus affidavit in which the victim allegedly admitted he lied about ever having sexual contact with Copeland-Jackson, according to prosecutors.
Based on the false pleadings, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle in August 2007 awarded a $3 million default judgment against the victim. Days later, after hearing from a prosecutor in Ohio, the judge vacated the judgment. Copeland-Jackson's scheme was unraveling.