8/31/01
TAX PROTESTER SENTENCED TO OBSTRUCTION;

MUST PAY ALL BACK TAXES, PENALTIES, INTEREST

Richard H. Deane, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and Andre’ Martin, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue, Criminal Investigation, announce that WALTER GRANT HEDRICK, 57, of Woodstock, Georgia, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. on one count of a federal indictment on charges of corrupt or forcible interference with administration of internal revenue laws. According to Deane

HEDRICK was sentenced to 1 year, three months in federal prison. As a condition of the plea agreement, HEDRICK filed lawful income tax returns and cooperate with the IRS in the accurate determination of all taxes, penalties, and interest for the 1988 through 1999 tax years. HEDRICK was also ordered to serve one year supervised release.

HEDRICK pleaded guilty to the charge on April 10, 2001. According to information in open court at today’s sentencing hearing, HEDRICK underpaid his taxes and failed to file tax returns from 1988 through 1999. When Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees contacted him about his failure to file his returns, he obstructed their investigation and refused to provide information so that the IRS could properly audit him, and made frivolous written demands to know by what authority they were investigating him and expecting him to pay taxes.

HEDRICK instructed employers and companies that paid him commissions to make payments to a business that he established and controlled, rather than to himself, in order to hide his income from the IRS. HEDRICK also established a sham Trust designed to hide his ownership of assets and income from the IRS, and which he used to spend his money. HEDRICK also provided false social security numbers to employers and in the purchase of a home located in Woodstock, Georgia, in order to hide income and assets from the IRS. HEDRICK sent a counterfeit check in the amount of $330,800 in order to obtain a false refund from the IRS. According to HEDRICK’s indictment, an IRS report showed that for the years 1988 through 1993 alone, HEDRICK owed approximately $228,781 in taxes, penalties and interest. Specific tax loss is estimated in this case to be between $70,000 and $200,000.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney David M. Leta prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact Richard H. Deane, Jr., United States Attorney or F. Gentry Shelnutt, Chief, Criminal Division, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.usdoj.gov/usao/gan.