Edgecombe County Tax Preparers Charged with State Tax Violations

Date: 4/10/2003

RALEIGH -- Three Edgecombe County tax preparers were arrested Wednesday on charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Janice Wilkins, 38, of 211 South East Railroad St., Whitakers was charged with 10 felony counts of aiding or assisting in the preparation of fraudulent state tax returns. Phyllis Hinton, 37, of 3725 Old Battleboro Road, Battleboro was charged with 14 counts of aiding or assisting in the preparation of fraudulent state tax returns. Ellis Lawrence, 45, of 643 Myrtle Ave., Rocky Mount was charged with 16 counts of aiding or assisting in the preparation of fraudulent state tax returns.

All three individuals appeared before an Edgecombe County magistrate. Wilkins and Hinton were released on a written promise to appear and Lawrence was placed under a $25,000 unsecured bond. Their first appearance hearing will be held on April 11, 2003 in Wake County District Court in Raleigh.

The warrants allege that Wilkins, Hinton, and Lawrence inflated the itemized deductions of their clients, thereby reducing their taxable income, in an effort to deceive the state of North Carolina to issue tax refunds greater than they were lawfully entitled. Wilkins and Hinton operate Executive Tax Service, located at 2530 North Wesleyan Blvd. in Rocky Mount. Lawrence operated a tax preparation business from his Rocky Mount home.

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