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Press Release

North Carolina Man Sentenced for Tax Evasion and Serving as a Pilot without a License

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A North Carolina man was sentenced yesterday to 21 months in prison for tax evasion and four counts of serving as a pilot without an airman’s certificate, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand for the Middle District of North Carolina. 

Paul Douglas Tharp, from 2012 through 2014, attempted to evade payment of an outstanding federal income tax debt by filing false documents, including false tax returns, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), according to court documents.  After Tharp failed to file tax returns for the years 2003 through 2006, the IRS assessed federal income taxes for those years.  In 2014, Tharp provided a false Form 433-A, Collection Information Statement for Wage Earners and Self-Employed Individuals, signed under penalty of perjury, on which Tharp failed to report that he owned an airport and an investment firm and concealed his business bank accounts and rental income.  In 2012 and 2014, Tharp also filed tax returns for the 2011 through 2013 tax years on which he omitted significant income that he received from his airport and rental properties. 

As part of his plea, Tharp also admitted that he served as a pilot without the required certification on four different occasions in 2012.  Tharp surrendered his pilot certificate on Aug. 2, 2012.  After that date, Tharp flew four flights in and out of Davidson County Airport in Lexington, North Carolina, without valid registration and while his pilot certificate was suspended. 

In addition to his prison term, Tharp was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $285,028.47 to the IRS.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo and U.S. Attorney Rand commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anand Ramaswamy of the Middle District of North Carolina and Trial Attorney Nathan Brooks of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting this case.

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

Updated June 2, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-642