WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury returned an indictment on June 27, which was unsealed today, charging Hattiesburg, Mississippi certified public accountant Carl Nicholson with one count of conspiring to defraud the United States, four counts of filing false tax returns, and six counts of aiding in the preparation of false tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman, U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst for the Southern District of Mississippi, and Mississippi State Auditor Shad White.
According to the indictment, Nicholson was a CPA doing business in Forest County, Mississippi. From 2012 to 2015, Nicholson is alleged to have conspired with a local attorney, who was a client of Nicholson, to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by falsely classifying the attorney’s personal expenses as deductible business expenses and filing false tax returns on the attorney’s behalf. On one occasion, Nicholson is alleged to have directed that a $250,000 payment to one of the attorney’s personal trusts be classified as a business expense. The indictment also alleges that Nicholson falsified his own tax returns for a four-year period by claiming bogus business expenses.
“Those who personally defraud taxpayers and help others to do the same for personal profit will face swift and certain justice in this district,” said U.S. Attorney Hurst. “I commend our agents and state investigators for their tenacity and their unflinching manner in following the evidence wherever it led and bringing this defendant to justice. Mr. Nicholson has skirted the law for too long, and today’s indictment proves that no one can hide from justice.”
If convicted, 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, restitution and monetary penalties.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and United States Attorney Hurst thanked special agents of Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and investigators with the Mississippi Auditor’s Office, who investigated the case, and Assistant United States Attorneys Jay Golden and Fred Harper, as well at Trial Attorney Nathan Brooks, who are prosecuting the case.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.
Official news published at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/mississippi-certified-public-accountant-indicted-tax-fraud