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Press Release

Virginia Salesman Sentenced for Evading Over $1 Million in Federal Income Taxes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

NEW BERN – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that  in federal court, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced GREGORY OVERTON POWELL, age 62, of Hampton, Virginia to 40 months imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.  The Court also ordered POWELL to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the amount of $1,405,954.

POWELL was named in a Criminal Information filed on December 4, 2018 charging him with willfully evading his federal income tax obligations for approximately 13 years.  On February 25, 2019, POWELL pled guilty to the charge. 

According to the charging instrument, statements made in court, and other public information, POWELL worked as a timeshare salesman between 2006 and 2016, during which his average annual salary was approximately $300,000.  Despite his significant earnings and ability to pay, POWELL systematically and willfully failed to file his tax returns on a timely basis and made minimal, if any, payments towards his tax liabilities.  For tax years 2006 through 2016 alone, POWELL’s tax liabilities exceeded $1.4 million, including penalties and interest.  The IRS attempted to collect the taxes due and owing by various means.  For example, IRS collection officials agreed to allow POWELL to enter into an installment agreement on two separate occasions provided he adjust his tax withholdings.  In each instance, POWELL agreed to do so, but then reneged on the terms by falsely representing to his employer that he was exempt from tax, thereby preventing any withholdings from his salary.  

During the offense period, POWELL took other steps to evade payment of his tax debts.  Among other things, POWELL provided a false collection information statement to the IRS in which he failed to report his ownership of a 34-foot speedboat.  POWELL also directed his wife to purchase and hold title to real property as a nominee to obstruct IRS collection efforts.  Additionally, POWELL convinced an individual to take nominal title of a residence that POWELL owned in Newport News, Virginia. 

IRS-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation in this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Adam F. Hulbig represented the government.

Updated November 27, 2019