Sometimes accountants take advantage of their clients to make a buck. Sometimes, the client is in on it, like this one. A Mississippi federal jury recently convicted certified public accountant Carl Nicholson of conspiracy to defraud the United States, six counts of aiding in the preparation of false tax returns, and four counts of filing false tax returns.
From the Department of Justice Press Release:
“Today, justice prevailed, the rule of law was enforced, and a long-time tax cheat was held accountable for his crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Hurst. “I commend our prosecutors, agents, and state investigators for their tireless work in bringing this individual and others like him to justice. Today’s verdict proves that no one is beyond the reach of the long arm of the law. We will continue to work with our partners and use every resource available to root out fraud and corruption throughout our state.”
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, from 2012 to 2014, Nicholson conspired with a client to falsely classify personal expenses as business expenses and filed false tax returns on the client’s behalf. On one occasion, Nicholson directed that a $250,000 payment to one of the client’s personal trusts be classified as a business expense. Nicholson was also found guilty of filing his own false personal income tax returns for 2012 through 2015. Specifically, he falsely claimed expenses, failed to report income, and under-reported the gain on the sale of his accounting firm Nicholson & Company.
Sentencing has been scheduled for May 23, 2019. At sentencing, Nicholson faces a maximum of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and three years for each charge of filing false tax returns and aiding in the preparation of false tax returns. He also faces supervised release and restitution.
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