Wilmington Woman Pleads Guilty to State Tax Violations

Date: 3/31/2003

RALEIGH -- A Wilmington woman pleaded guilty Thursday in Wake County District Court to felony charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Nikita Sharmane Beckett, 29, of 4719 Greentree Road, Apt. A, pleaded guilty to three counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. The State's evidence showed that Beckett knowingly filed fraudulent North Carolina income tax returns for tax years 1999, 2000 and 2001 using fictitious wage and tax statements.

Beckett is one of six Wilmington residents who were charged by the North Carolina Department of Revenue with obtaining property by false pretenses. She was sentenced on Thursday March 27, 2003 in Wake County District Court. The wage and tax statements which were used to prepare Beckett's tax returns falsely showed that she was employed by local businesses and had North Carolina income taxes withheld from her wages. Based on the fraudulent information, the Department of Revenue issued income tax refunds to Beckett totaling $1,359 that she was not entitled to receive.

District Court Judge Craig Croom sentenced Beckett to a five-month minimum, six-month maximum prison term. The sentence was suspended and she was placed on supervised probation for 24 months. Beckett was further ordered to pay a criminal fine of $300 and pay $1,359 in restitution to the State. She must also timely file and pay all State taxes due during her probation.

The charges against Beckett resulted from an investigation by a special agent in the Department of Revenue's Criminal Investigations Division. The investigation into the filing of fraudulent North Carolina income tax returns using fictitious wage and tax statements continues in the Wilmington area and additional arrests are possible.

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