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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Former Army Contracting Official Sentenced to Prison for Filing False Tax Return

BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced a former contracting official for the U.S. Army at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville to five months in prison and five months’ home confinement for filing a false income tax return, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot.

U.S. District Judge Madeline H. Haikala sentenced WILLIS EPPS, 61, on one count of filing a false tax return. A federal jury convicted Epps on the charge in June. Judge Haikala ordered Epps’ home detention as a condition of the year of supervised release she imposed following his prison sentence. She also ordered Epps to pay $16,470 in restitution to the IRS.

Before Epps’ retirement in January 2013, he was a high-level contracting official assigned to Army Contracting Command-Redstone. Beginning in 2010, Epps provided contracting support to the Army’s Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aircraft office and was named its director of contracts.

The jury convicted Epps of willfully filing an IRS tax return for 2013 that he knew was false. According to the evidence, Epps knowingly omitted $56,250 in income when he filed a return stating his joint taxable income for 2013 was $182,541.

The facts leading to the IRS-CI investigation of Epps arose during a separate multi-agency investigation into the Army’s NSRWA. Those investigating agencies were the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and the FBI.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ramona C. Albin and Henry Cornelius prosecuted the case.

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Updated December 15, 2016