Dunn Businessman Guilty of State Tax Charges

Date: 12/16/2003

RALEIGH – A Dunn businessman pleaded guilty Monday in Wake County District Court to a felony tax charge filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Gary Williams, 47, of 804 Beamon St., Clinton, entered a guilty plea to one count of attempting to evade or defeat the North Carolina sales tax. Williams failed to report and remit $10,827 in state and Harnett County sales taxes to the Department of Revenue from December 2001 through August 2002. The taxes were charged and collected from customers of the Dutch Iris Florist, a retail florist located at 1110 Broad St., Dunn. Williams owns the business.

The state's evidence showed that Williams purchased the Dutch Iris Florist in 1994 but failed to register the business for sales tax with the Department of Revenue. He did not report or remit the taxes collected for this business even though he owned another floral shop in Clinton, The Atrium, from which he reported and remitted the sales taxes due.

Wake County District Court Judge Craig Croom sentenced Williams to a six-month minimum, eight-month maximum prison term. The sentence was suspended and he was placed on supervised probation for 36 months. Williams was further ordered to pay a $500 criminal fine and perform 50 hours of community service. He must pay $10,827 in restitution to the Department of Revenue by Dec. 19, 2003. Williams must also file amended 1995 through 2002 state and federal income tax returns to reflect his correct income from Dutch Iris Florist.

The charges against Williams resulted from an investigation by an auditor in the Department of Revenue's Fayetteville Examinations Office and a special agent with the Department's Criminal Investigations Division.

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