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Justice News

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

South Carolina Man Sentenced To More Than Six Years For Tax Fraud Conspiracy

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger sentenced a South Carolina man to 75 months in prison on false claims conspiracy and aggravated identity theft charges, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.   Carmichael Cornilus Hill, 34, of Greenville, S.C. was also ordered to serve three years under court supervision and to pay $219,118 as restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Thomas J. Holloman III, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI); Thomas L. Noyes, Inspector in Charge of the Charlotte Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Michael Rolin, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Charlotte Field Division, join U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcements.

According to court records and today’s sentencing proceedings, Hill provided his two co-conspirators, Senita Birt Dill and Ronald Jeremy Knowles, with fraudulently-obtained personal identification information of individuals which Dill and Knowles used to file more than 1,000 false tax returns resulting in the collection of more than $3.5 million in fraudulent tax refunds.  According to court records, Hill obtained the individuals’ personal information (including names, dates of birth and social security numbers) through a variety of ways, including from an unindicted co-conspirator with access to that information.  Hill then provided that information to Dill and Knowles for use in the tax fraud scheme. Court records indicate that Hill provided approximately 26% of the stolen identifications used to file the fraudulent returns. 

Court records indicate that Dill and Knowles shared with Hill and other co-conspirators the fraudulently-obtained refunds.  Court records also show that, at times, Hill permitted Dill to directly deposit the fraudulent refunds into his bank account.

Hill pleaded guilty in April 2016 to one count of false claims conspiracy and one count of aggravated identity theft.  He will be ordered to report the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.  All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

Dill and Knowles, formerly of Mill Spring, N.C., were previously sentenced to 324 and 70 months in prison, respectively, for their involvement in the conspiracy.  Two additional defendants, Yolanda Kitson and Cara Michelle Banks were sentenced to 72 and 70-month prison terms for their participation in the tax fraud scheme.

The investigation was handled by IRS-CI, USPIS, and the U.S. Secret Service. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Gast of U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville was in charge of the prosecution.

Updated August 16, 2016