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Friday, June 30, 2017

North Carolina Man Indicted for Obstructing the IRS, Preparing Fraudulent Tax Returns and Bankruptcy Fraud

A grand jury sitting in the Middle District of North Carolina returned an indictment charging a Greensboro, North Carolina resident with corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), preparing and filing fraudulent tax returns, bankruptcy fraud and making false bankruptcy declarations, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Hairston for the Middle District of North Carolina.

The indictment alleges that, between July 2008 and July 2009, Hassie Demond Nowlin aka Demond Nowlin and Brilliant Knowlin, filed personal tax returns with the IRS reporting fake income and income taxes withheld and seeking more than $700,000 in fraudulent refunds. According to the indictment, between 2008 and 2010, the IRS assessed taxes, penalties and interest against Nowlin related to his 2005 through 2008 income tax returns. After being notified of the assessments, Nowlin allegedly began concealing his assets and placing them in the names of nominee entities. The indictment also alleges that Nowlin made false statements to IRS agents, including that he did not prepare tax returns for clients.

The indictment further charges that between January 2011 and January 2017, Nowlin operated a tax preparation business, and filed tax returns for clients that claimed phony business and education expenses and sought refunds to which the clients were not entitled. According to the indictment, Nowlin did not identify himself as the paid preparer on these fraudulent returns. The indictment alleges that Nowlin caused more than $250,000 in clients’ tax refunds to be deposited into nominee bank accounts that he controlled.

In addition to the tax-related charges, the indictment alleges that Nowlin attempted to cheat his creditors by filing six fraudulent personal bankruptcy petitions between April 2013 and January 2017. Along with five of those petitions, Nowlin also allegedly submitted false financial statements on which he did not fully disclose his income and assets.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed and the defendant is presumed innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, Nowlin faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison for obstructing the IRS and each count of preparing false tax returns and five years in prison for each count of bankruptcy fraud and making false bankruptcy declarations. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and Acting U.S. Attorney Hairston commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney Robert J. Boudreau of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anand Ramaswamy of the Middle District of North Carolina, who are prosecuting this case.

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

Press Release Number: 
Updated June 30, 2017