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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 2, 2016

North Carolina Couple Pleads Guilty To Bank Fraud And Tax Fraud Related To Their Online Business

WASHINGTON - A Greensboro, North Carolina, couple, who operated an online sales business, pleaded guilty today to bank fraud and tax fraud charges announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand of the Middle District of North Carolina.

Daniel Balson, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return for 2010 and one count of making a false statement on a loan application.  Renee Balson, 53, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement on a loan application. 

According to court documents, Daniel Balson owned and operated Southern Sales Online (SSO), an online retail business that sold a variety of merchandise through eBay and Amazon, including scrapbooking and art materials, books, inspirational DVDs, pet supplies and tools.  Daniel Balson admitted selling stolen merchandise through SSO.  Although SSO earned over $1 million in gross receipts during tax years 2005 through 2011, the Balsons failed to report those gross receipts on their tax returns.  The Balsons also failed to report the income from SSO on a bank application for a mortgage loan modification in 2011.

The sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 3. The Balsons each face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for making a false statement on a loan application.  Daniel Balson also faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years for filing a false tax return.  The Balsons also face substantial monetary penalties and restitution.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo and U.S. Attorney Rand commended special agents of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case and Assistant Chief Todd A. Ellinwood and Trial Attorney Mara A. Strier of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of North Carolina for their assistance. 

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Updated August 2, 2016