News and Press Releases

Durham Resident Sentenced For Filing False Federal Income Tax Returns

February 11, 2008

Winston-Salem, NC – Anna Mills Wagoner, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, announced that LOUIE GEORGE SINCLAIR, 53, of Durham, North Carolina was sentenced on February 8, 2008, in federal court in Winston-Salem by United States District Court Judge James A. Beaty to eighteen months in prison as a result of filing false federal income tax returns during a wire fraud scheme. Sinclair was also ordered to make restitution to the United States Department of the Treasury in the amount of $62,203.

Sinclair was originally indicted by a federal grand jury in Greensboro in February 2007 and has been held in federal custody since his arrest on March 6, 2007. He was charged with three counts of violating the federal wire fraud statute by defrauding the Department of the Treasury of income tax refunds. After Sinclair persuaded a friend that he had expertise in financial planning and tax preparation, she provided him with her tax information and agreed to allow him to file timely personal income tax returns for her for the tax years 2000 and 2001. Although the friend actually owed additional taxes and directed Sinclair to pay those taxes, Sinclair instead filed fraudulent returns without the friend’s knowledge that claimed inflated medical and employment expenses and requested large refunds. Sinclair also filed a third return entirely without the friend’s knowledge for 2003 that requested an additional refund to which she was not entitled. Sinclair caused the Department of the Treasury to deposit the $62,203 in refunds he fraudulently claimed for 2001, 2002 and 2003 directly into bank accounts controlled by him and converted the refunds entirely to his own use. Sinclair’s scheme was uncovered when his friend attempted to file her own income tax return for 2003 and was notified by the Internal Revenue Service that a return for that year had already been filed for her and a refund had been issued.

The investigation of Sinclair was conducted by special agents of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.

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