Wilson Tax Preparer Sentenced to Active Jail Term

Date: 1/16/2004

RALEIGH – A Wilson tax return preparer was sentenced to an active prison term after he was convicted recently of filing fraudulent North Carolina income tax returns by a Wake County jury.

William Mack Best, also known as ‘Bosco’, 55, of 410 Hill St. was found guilty on Thursday Jan. 15, 2004 of 11 counts of willfully aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent North Carolina individual income tax returns. After hearing more than three days of testimony, the jury took less than two hours to convict Best on 11 of the 12 charges against him.

The state's evidence showed that Best substantially inflated itemized deductions on the returns he prepared for his clients. The clients testified that they did not ask that the deductions be claimed and that they never provided Best the amounts he listed on their returns.

Best testified that he has been preparing the tax returns of elderly Wilson residents for years and considered it a ‘labor of love’ to assist them. He said that he prepared the returns to show them what their returns would look like with the deductions he listed. He stated that he told them not to file the returns if they did not have the deductions. Best said he does not consider himself a tax return preparer and that while he did not charge his clients a return preparation fee, they were free to pay him if they chose.

The Department of Revenue is still investigating how many fraudulent tax returns Best prepared and is working to identify other individuals who had their returns prepared by him to verify the accuracy of those returns.

Wake County Superior Court Judge James C. Spencer, Jr. sentenced Best to two, consecutive nine-month minimum, 11-month maximum prison terms with the North Carolina Department of Corrections. Best was taken into custody by the Wake County Sheriff's Department to begin serving his sentence.

The charges against Best resulted from an investigation by the Department of Revenue's Criminal Investigations Division.

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