Former High Point Businessman Guilty of State Tax Charges

Date: 11/29/2004

RALEIGH -- A former High Point business owner pleaded guilty Monday to felony tax charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Anthony Andrew Cook, 32, entered guilty pleas on Nov. 29, 2004 in Wake County Superior Court to two counts each of attempting to evade or defeat the North Carolina and Guilford County sales tax. Cook was president and responsible corporate officer of Cook & Cook Enterprises Inc., a Church’s Chicken franchise located at 200 S. Main St., High Point. The business closed in February 2004.

The state’s evidence showed that Cook & Cook Enterprises Inc. operated a Church’s Chicken franchise in High Point from December 2001 through July 2003. Cook was responsible for reporting and remitting the sales taxes collected from customers to the Department of Revenue. The state’s investigation found that Cook significantly underreported the sales of the restaurant and failed to remit $38,012.60 in North Carolina and Guilford County sales taxes.

Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson, Jr. sentenced Cook to a four-month minimum, five-month maximum prison term. The sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for 12 months. Cook was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service during his probation. Cook paid restitution of $38,012.60 to the Department of Revenue prior to entering his guilty plea.

Cook, who now resides in Houston, Texas, acquired the Church’s Chicken franchise in 2001 after retiring from the National Football League due to a career ending injury.

The charges against Cook resulted from a referral from the Greensboro Revenue Office and an investigation conducted by a special agent in the Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigations Division.

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