News and Press Releases

George E. B. Holding


FRIDAY- November 16, 2007

Three Defendants Sentenced for Tax Fraud Crimes

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that yesterday in federal court United States Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced the three defendants in the tax fraud case United States v. Raynor et al., No. 4:07-CR-18-BO.

KAREN RENAY RAYNOR, 41, of Vanceboro, North Carolina, was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment for her crimes. LINDA DAVIS SUTTON, 40, of Vanceboro, North Carolina, was sentenced to 12 months and one day imprisonment. DENNIS LEE BEST, 40, of New Bern, North Carolina, received 41 months imprisonment.

RAYNOR and SUTTON were long-time employees and managers at a Jackson Hewitt commercial tax return preparer in New Bern, North Carolina when, in early 2003, they conducted an extensive conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. Using fake employment information supplied by BEST, and personal identification information supplied by recruits, the three defendants submitted false personal tax returns requesting refunds in excess of $150,000. The defendants obtained a significant portion of the fraudulent refunds claimed by using a loan-against-refund program offered by Jackson Hewitt, which allowed RAYNOR and SUTTON to have checks generated at their store.

“Our nation’s tax system depends on the honesty of tax preparers, just as it depends on the honesty of filers. This case sends a strong message that tax preparers who abuse this trust, and the co-conspirators who aid them, will be prosecuted and punished,” said United States Attorney George E. B. Holding.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Clay C. Wheeler prosecuted the case for the United States.


News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at within 48 hours of release.

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