Tax Preparer Jailed in Tax Scheme

Date: 2/5/2004

RALEIGH – A Wingate woman was sentenced to an active prison sentence Tuesday in Wake County District Court on felony tax charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Melissa Marsh Hough, 27, of 917 Walkers Grove, Wingate, entered guilty pleas to one count of conspiracy and 15 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent income tax returns. Hough is a former employee of Webtax Inc., a tax return preparation business located in Monroe.

The state’s evidence showed that Hough admitted she conspired to create false wage and tax statements for clients of Webtax and used those statements to prepare false federal and state income tax returns. Hough estimated that she had received as much as $80,000 by filing the false returns and splitting the refund proceeds with her clients.

Wake County District Court Judge Jennifer Green sentenced Hough to a 10-month minimum, 12-month maximum prison term. Hough was on probation for embezzlement when she committed these crimes.

The charges against Hough resulted from an investigation by a special agent with the Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigations Division. The owners of Webtax, Inc. were not involved in this scheme and fully cooperated with the Department’s investigation.

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