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Tax crimes result in prison sentences, fines

With the deadline for filing income tax returns rapidly approaching, Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, and Jeannine A. Hammett, special agent in charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, announce recent tax fraud prosecutions and sentencings, and deliver a powerful warning to those who are thinking about breaking the law by committing tax crimes.

“As April 15 approaches, honest taxpayers should rest assured: our office will work diligently to investigate and prosecute those individuals who try to cheat the tax system,” said U.S. Attorney Tompkins.

“Whether dishonest taxpayers fail to report all of their income, attempt to obtain fraudulent refunds, or prepare bad tax returns for others, they face lengthy sentences and large fines.”

Tompkins noted the importance of deterring others from committing tax crimes, stating, “Our tax system is built on voluntary compliance, and tax criminals hurt all Americans by increasing the tax burden on honest taxpayers and refusing to pay their fair share.”

“The IRS fosters confidence in the American tax system through the investigation and prosecution of individuals and corporations who intentionally conceal income and evade taxes,” said Hammett. “Tax evasion is not a victimless crime. Honest, hardworking Americans pay the price when others choose to evade their tax obligations.”

In the last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with the assistance of the IRS-CID, has prosecuted numerous individuals for criminal tax violations, including Ronald Jeremy Knowles and Senita Birt Dill of Mill Spring in Polk County.

On Oct. 29, 2012, Knowles and Dill pleaded guilty to charges of false claims conspiracy, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft. According to the bill of information filed, Knowles and Dill used stolen identities to file over $5 million in fraudulent tax refund claims.

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