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Press Release

North Carolina Businessman Convicted of Tax and Fraud Charges

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

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A federal jury convicted an Asheville man late yesterday on 35 charges of conspiracy, tax fraud related to a fraudulent tax shelter, mail and wire fraud and money laundering.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Byron Hale Delavan, 63, engaged in a fraudulent tax and investment fraud scheme from approximately 2011 to 2016 that resulted in losses to victims of over $800,000, and a separate tax loss to the United States of over $400,000.

Delavan offered a fraudulent tax program to various individuals in the Tidewater area and elsewhere whereby individuals paid Delavan between $10,000 and $12,500 in order to obtain fraudulent losses to offset income on their tax returns. In doing so, Delavan purported to deduct business bad debts from non-operational entities he controlled, passing through these losses to client returns as if the clients were actually involved in these entities. Furthermore, Delavan solicited business loans and investments from some of the same and additional clients that he falsely represented would be used for business purposes. Contrary to this, Delavan used such funds for personal use, including the repayment of prior clients and personal expenses, such as private school tuition. Finally, Delavan purported to sell gold to certain clients, but made false representations related to the value or existence of the gold or the purpose of the funds obtained.

Delavan is scheduled to be sentenced on July 9. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), which led the investigation; and Judith W. Jagdmann, Chair of the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson accepted the verdict. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Samuels is prosecuting the case.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service provided assistance through the Newport News Financial Crimes Task Force.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:18-cr-23.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated March 27, 2019

Financial Fraud