Guilford County Men Sentenced in State Tax Scheme

Date: 9/17/2004

RALEIGH – Two Guilford County men were sentenced Thursday on felony tax charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

William Derrick Fairley, 34, of 4214 Clovelly Drive, Greensboro pleaded guilty on Sept. 17, 2004 in Wake County Superior Court to 61counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent tax returns and two counts of tax evasion.

Judge Donald W. Stephens sentenced Fairley to a 12-month minimum, 16-month maximum active prison term with the North Carolina Department of Correction.

The state’s evidence showed that Fairley inflated the itemized deductions claimed on his own returns and those he prepared for several other individuals. The inflated deductions were intended to deceive the Department of Revenue into issuing refunds that were larger than the taxpayers were legally entitled to receive.

In a related case, Thomas Lee Garner, 33, of 2419 Fernbrook Drive, Greensboro, also entered guilty pleas on Sept. 17, 2004 to 39 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent tax returns and one count of tax evasion.

Garner was sentenced to a 12-month suspended sentence and 36 months of supervised probation. He was further ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and pay a $3,000.00 criminal fine.

The state’s evidence showed that Garner aided and assisted in the preparation of fraudulent tax returns by receiving and providing information to Fairley. The evidence showed that from 1998 to 2003, Fairley and Garner were involved in the preparation of fraudulent tax returns for at least 31 individuals.

The charges against Fairley and Garner resulted from an investigation by a special agent with the Department’s Criminal Investigations Division.

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