Forsyth County Businessman Convicted of State Tax Charges

Date: 10/16/2003

RALEIGH – A Kernersville businessman pleaded guilty today in Wake County Superior Court to felony charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

James Stanley Hedgecock, 59, of 8857 Boylston Road, Colfax, pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting Hedgecock Lumber Company to embezzle Forsyth and Guilford County sales taxes, and one count of aiding and abetting the embezzlement of state sales taxes. The offenses occurred from Aug. 1, 2001 to April 30, 2003 while Hedgecock was president of Hedgecock Lumber Company in Kernersville.

The state’s evidence showed that Hedgecock collected $162,181.12 in state and county sales taxes that were not remitted to the Department of Revenue. He also admitted that he withheld $13,520 in state income taxes from his employees’ wages that were not remitted. Hedgecock's attorney stated that Hedgecock has been involved in a legal dispute with his family over his father's estate and had used the sales and withholding taxes to fund legal expenses.

Wake County Superior Court Judge J. B. Allen, Jr. sentenced Hedgecock to a 48-month minimum, 60-month maximum prison term. The sentence was suspended on the conditions that he serve a 10-day active prison term and be placed on supervised probation for 36 months following his incarceration. Hedgecock was also ordered to pay a $10,000 criminal fine and to perform 120 hours of community service during the first six months of his probation. He was further ordered to pay restitution to the Department of Revenue.

The charges against Hedgecock resulted from an investigation by a special agent with the Department of Revenue's Criminal Investigation Division in cooperation with the Winston-Salem Department of Revenue Examinations Office.

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