Gastonia Police Officer Guilty of State Tax Evasion

Date:  November 14, 2007

RALEIGH – A Gastonia police officer was found guilty Wednesday and ordered to serve an active sentence for felony tax charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Jerry Dale Howell, 47, of 1745 Martin Road, Kings Mountain was convicted of three counts of state income tax evasion after a two-day trial in Wake County Superior Court.

Judge Kenneth Titus sentenced Howell to a six-month minimum, eight-month maximum prison term. The sentence was suspended and Howell was placed on supervised probation for 36 months. He was ordered to serve an active 10-day jail term as a special condition of his probation and must file his individual income tax returns and pay all future taxes on time.

An investigation by a special agent with the North Carolina Department of Revenue found that Howell, a police officer for the city of Gastonia, filed a fraudulent NC-4 withholding form claiming that he was exempt from North Carolina income tax withholdings for 2003 and 2004. As a result the city did not withhold taxes from his wages even though he was not exempt. Howell also filed a 2005 state individual income tax return reporting that he did not earn any income when he actually received wages of $27,919.

The charges against Howell resulted from an investigation by the Department of Revenue’s Hickory Field Office and a special agent with the Department’s Criminal Investigations Division.

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