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Rocky Mount woman pleads guilty to tax fraud

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RALEIGH — A Rocky Mount woman has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government via false tax preparations.

Adrienne Jeanine Williams, 48, owned and operated Ultimate Tax Service, a return preparation business in Rocky Mount, according to court documents and statements made in open court.

For tax years 2011-16, six other return preparers worked for Williams. Clients’ returns included an array of false items to include education credits, itemized deductions, wages and Schedule C businesses, but the primary false item was making it appear the clients had already paid taxes when they hadn’t, said Don Connelly, public information officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

“This created a dollar-for-dollar enlarged refund,” Connelly said. “In all, the false returns prepared and filed by Williams and her employees on behalf of clients claimed approximately $4.4 million federal income tax withholdings for which the IRS never received a corresponding Form 1099 corroborating the claimed withholding. The loss to the United States exceeded $3.5 million.”

Williams also filed false returns in her own name for tax years 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017, similarly claiming she paid additional 1099 withholding when she had not, Connelly said.

IRS Criminal Investigations handled the case with Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Menzer and Michael Jones, a tax division trial attorney, acting as prosecutors. 

Chief U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle will sentence Williams during the January term of court. The maximum penalty is five years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.