The Washington Post

D.C. man sentenced for deceiving a federal judge

A convicted sex offender from the District was sentenced to five years in prison on federal charges in two cases, including one in which he plotted to deceive a judge into awarding him a $3 million default judgement in a civil lawsuit.

According to officials, 40-year-old David Copeland-Jackson was convicted in Ohio in 2000 on charges of gross sexual imposition against two 14-year-olds.

After serving three years in an Ohio prison, he was paroled to the District, his hometown, and ordered not to have any contact with the victims of his earlier crimes.

In June 2007, Copeland-Jackson — who was still on parole — filed a $3 million defamation suit against one of the two victims, identified in court documents only as “J.C.”

Copeland-Jackson was required to serve J.C. with a copy of the lawsuit, but he never did. Instead, he filed a false affidavit stating that J.C. had been served with the suit. For more than a month, he filed numerous pleadings for himself, as the plaintiff, and for J.C. as the defendant.

The judge, Ellen S. Huvelle, was never made aware that Copeland-Jackson had gone to prison for the acts that were the subject of the defamation lawsuit. As a result, she awarded a $3 million default judgement against J.C. to Copeland-Jackson.

Copeland-Jackson’s plot was foiled when the prosecutor in Ohio notified the judge that Copeland-Jackson had been convicted of the molestation charges.

Copeland-Jackson was also sentenced Monday on a mail fraud scheme.

Authorities said that between 2005 and 2009, Copeland-Jackson fraudulently obtained $62,440 in federal student financial aid by enrolling three relatives and five former inmates in college courses at online universities and then collecting their student aid checks.

Copeland-Jackson was sentenced to five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

His co-conspirator in the falsified defamation lawsuit case, 74-year-old Peter J. Brandel Sr., of Ohio, has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom