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Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 23, 2019

Mississippi Accountant Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Tax Fraud

Caused a Tax Loss of More than $500,000

A locally prominent certified public accountant (CPA) was sentenced today to five years in prison in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman and United States Attorney Mike Hurst for the Southern District of Mississippi.

“Today’s prison sentence for CPA Nicholson should serve as a reminder that the Department of Justice will prosecute fraudulent tax return preparers, who violate this nation’s tax laws, and that the penalties for such conduct include significant prison time,” stated Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman.

“Carl Nicholson abused his position of trust as a CPA and defrauded Mississippians and American taxpayers. This case illustrates that no one is above the law, that our tax laws will be vigorously enforced, and that justice will always be done in the Southern District of Mississippi,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.

On Feb. 8, 2019, a jury convicted Carl Nicholson of conspiracy to defraud the United States as well as six counts of aiding in the preparation of false tax returns and four counts of filing false tax returns. According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, from 2012 to 2014, Nicholson conspired with a client to falsely classify $740,000 of personal payments as business expenses and filed false tax returns on the client’s behalf with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Nicholson was also found guilty of filing his own false personal income tax returns for 2012 through 2015. Specifically, he falsely claimed expenses, failed to report embezzlement income, and under-reported the gain on the sale of his accounting firm Nicholson & Company.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Court Judge Keith Starrett ordered Nicholson to serve three years of supervised release, to pay a $25,000 fine and to pay restitution of $629,432 to the IRS.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and United States Attorney Hurst thanked special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and investigators with the Mississippi Auditor’s Office, who investigated the case, and Assistant United States Attorney Jay Golden and Trial Attorney Kim Shartar of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Tax
Press Release Number: 
19-573
Updated May 23, 2019