William B. Clayton, a residential builder formerly of Corolla, N.C., pleaded guilty today before Judge Terrence W. Boyle to corruptly obstructing and impeding the due administration of the tax laws, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced.
According to the indictment, Clayton failed to file federal income tax returns over a six-year period, resulting in the assessment of taxes and penalties and the initiation of IRS collection proceedings. Between May 2007 and August 2010, Clayton took steps to obstruct the IRS’s efforts to collect his unpaid tax liabilities, such as concealing property from the IRS and destroying a former property in Corolla that had been acquired by the government. According to court records, in an effort to pay down Clayton’s tax liabilities, the IRS scheduled a public auction of Clayton’s former property. In the days leading up to the auction, Clayton committed, or caused the commission of, various acts of destruction and demolition at the Corolla property, including destroying an outdoor pool deck and pool house, forcibly removing a guest house from the property and transporting it to a non-consenting neighbor’s property, and forcibly removing cabinets, counter tops, a kitchen island, sinks, toilets, and light fixtures.
Clayton’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 28, 2013. Clayton faces a maximum potential penalty of three years’ imprisonment, one year of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
The investigation of this case was conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Adam Hulbig of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.