Wilmington Woman Pleads Guilty to State Tax Charges, Receives Active Sentence

Date: 5/14/2004

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

Cynthia Covington Blash, 47, of 101 Asheton Road, Wilmington, pleaded guilty on May 14, 2004 to three counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.

The state’s evidence showed that Blash filed individual income tax returns for 1999, 2000 and 2001 indicating that she was employed by local businesses, received wages from those businesses and had North Carolina income taxes withheld from her wages. The investigation revealed that she was not employed by the businesses and did not receive wages or have the taxes withheld. The returns deceived the Department of Revenue and resulted in the state issuing Blahs larger tax refunds than she was legally entitled to receive.

Wake County District Court Judge Craig Croom sentenced Blash to an 11-month minimum, 14-month maximum prison term. The sentence was suspended and Blash was placed on supervised probation for 24 months. As a special condition of her probation, she was also ordered to serve a 30-day active sentence followed by nine months of intensive probation. Blash was also ordered to pay $1,143 in restitution to the Department of Revenue and a $500 criminal fine.

The charges against Blash resulted from a Department of Revenue investigation into the filing of fictitious tax returns by Wilmington area residents. Eighteen individuals have been charged in connection with this scheme. Anyone with information about individuals filing fraudulent state tax returns using fictitious wage and tax statements should contact the Department of Revenue toll free at 1-800-232-4939.

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