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Tuesday - March 29, 2005

WILMINGTON - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that DYRELL MITCHELL OATES was indicted by a federal grand jury in Wilmington, N. C., on Wednesday, March 23, 2005, for preparation of false income tax returns.

OATES, 34, of 233 Franklin Street, Mount Olive, N. C., was charged with 45 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation, and presentation to the Internal Revenue Service, of Individual Income Tax Returns, Forms 1040. According to the indictment, the tax returns, which were prepared and filed for various taxpayers, were either individual or joint and were for the tax years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003.

The 45-count indictment alleges that the tax returns prepared and filed by OATES were false and fraudulent in that they contained false information relating to dependents, itemized deductions, education credit, and business income, and that OATES knew that the taxpayers were not entitled to claim the exemptions, deductions, and credits in the amounts stated. The indictment alleges specifically that the false information included the filing status and number of eligible dependents, which would affect the exemptions, earned income credit, and child tax credit claimed; false and inflated deductions for charitable contributions, employee business expenses, and other expenses that did not occur, which would affect itemized deductions; falsely claimed education expenses, which would affect education credit; and excessive business deductions and other expenses that did not occur, which would affect the business income category.

If convicted, OATES could receive a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000.00, and a supervised release term of one year for each count.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. Assistant U. S. Attorney Felice McConnell Corpening is prosecuting the case for the United States.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A trial date has not been set.

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