A Polk County man is in custody and faces federal charges after allegedly lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about contact with Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump during a recent investigation.
According to online court documents, James Calvin Parker, 57, of Goodson “willfully and knowingly made materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements and representations in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch government of the United States.”
The investigation began in April when a victim’s son filed a complaint with the FBI, saying Parker had “repeatedly asked the victim for money in order to pay various fines and expenses related to the release of a substantial sum of money, belonging to Parker, being held by the United States government,” documents state.
The investigation says the victim was "particularly vulnerable to Parker's fraud scheme," due to altered "mental faculties" following an accident.
Beginning in August 2018 and over the next 10 months, the victim gave Parker over $130,000, according the FBI’s investigation.
Documents state the victim was told by Parker he stood to inherit several million dollars, stored in boxes, as well as construction equipment and tools, following his father’s death. Parker said his late father had owned a construction company in Washington, D.C.
“Parker told the victim he had been trying for over 30 years to take the steps necessary to transfer the money and property to himself in Missouri,” the documents state.
Those steps included paying for “money laundering certificates, ‘FINCEN’ reports, fines to the Internal Revenue Service for back taxes and fuel for a transport plane.”
Local bank officials in Buffalo confirmed the victim “had withdrawn a substantial amount of money to give to Parker,” according to documents. Parker and his wife, Ronda, joined the victim at the bank twice, explaining the “scheme” to bank officials.
While talking with the FBI at his home on Friday, May 10, Parker told investigators he believed he was owed around $22 million, which was currently being held by the U.S. government. He said he had been in contact with high-level officials in an attempt to arrange for the delivery of his held funds.
Parker told investigators he had “spoken with President Trump by telephone about his funds.”
He also said Trump sent him a text message “asking for $4,100 for fuel for Air Force One,” according to court documents. Parker also said Trump sent him text messages “instructing him not to listen to the FBI, with the exception of agents from D.C.”
Parker added he was asked by the government to send another $2,800 “to purchase more fuel for Air Force One” on the morning of the FBI interview.
Documents state that Parker told the FBI “he and his wife had met with President Bush and the president’s wife and children at the Springfield Airport” and “spoke with the president for an hour and a half about his funds.”
He also said Bush “gave him a new 2002 or 2004 Lincoln Navigator,” but he said “an African guard was driving and had totaled it,” forcing the government “to get him another truck.”
Parker also said he had met with Attorney General Eric Holder in Jefferson City about his funds and had traveled to Seattle, Washington, in April 2007 with his wife for a court appearance “to get an extension on one of the payment deadlines associated with his receipt of his funds,” the investigation states.
He was interviewed by the FBI around 10 years ago, with Parker saying the agent “made it clear” he was “not to ‘scam’ anyone else,” the documents state.
Parker was booked into Greene County Jail on Thursday, June 6, after the FBI arrested him. He’s being held without bond.
He had his initial appearance in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush in the U.S. Western District Court Friday, June 7. He was appointed an assistant federal public defender, Ian A. Lewis, in the hearing.
Lewis had not responded to requests for comment by press time Tuesday.
Parker’s preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday, June 12.
*This article was edited online to add information about the victim on Wednesday, June 12.