A North Carolina resident is facing serious penalties for filing fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. Hassie Demond Nowlin was sentenced to 37 months in prison on November 16, 2017, by the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. Nowlin was charged with obstruction of the IRS, falsification of tax returns and bankruptcy fraud for the years of 2008 and 2009. According to court documents, Nowlin also worked as a tax preparer from 2011 to 2017 and filed hundreds of returns on behalf of clients that contained false information intended to increase the amount of their refunds. He then collected the fees and deposited them into bank accounts that he controlled but on which his name did not appear.
A Wide Range of Offenses
Along with the fraudulent tax activities conducted by Nowlin, the court also alleged that he filed false personal bankruptcy petitions in an effort to evade or cheat his creditors. Nowlin’s tax returns included false information both about his earned income and the amount of withholding for federal taxes. Additionally, Nowlin attempted to renounce his U.S. citizenship by proclaiming himself a sovereign citizen in paperwork filed with the Guilford County Register of Deeds.
Harsh Penalties Assessed for Fraudulent Activities
In August 2017, Nowlin pled guilty to obstructing the IRS, filing fraudulent returns and committing bankruptcy fraud. Along with 37 months in prison, Nowlin will be required to pay restitution of more than $188,000 and to serve three years on supervised release. According to federal law, the statutory maximum for income tax fraud cases is three years in prison. Bankruptcy fraud can lead to up to five years in jail.
Criminal Prosecutions Are Rare
While Nowlin’s case is not typical, it highlights the need to stay on the right side of IRS regulations when filing and paying taxes. Working with a qualified IRS and state tax attorney can be a solid step toward preventing serious penalties that could damage you financially and, in some cases, could lead to criminal prosecution.
The Law Offices of Daniel M. Silvershein can help you manage your IRS problems proactively and effectively. We have more than 20 years of experience in tax issues and can deliver the right solutions for your specific situation. To set up a free consultation with us, call 1-888-382-7880. We look forward to helping you resolve your tax problems quickly and in the most positive way possible.