Wilmington Couple Pleads Guilty To State Tax Charges

Date:  July 30, 2008

RALEIGH – A Wilmington couple pleaded guilty Wednesday in Wake County District Court to tax charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Philip Preston Hatcher, 48, and Kelly Atkins Hatcher, 42, of 6301 Seamist Court, Wilmington pleaded guilty on July 30 to three counts of willful failure to file individual income tax returns for 2004, 2005, and 2006. The Hatchers own Trademark Signs at 3215 Kittyhawk Road in Wilmington.

Wake County District Court Judge James Fulwood sentenced the Hatchers to 45-day prison terms. Their sentences were suspended and the Hatchers were placed on supervised probation for 12 months. They were also ordered to pay restitution to the Department of Revenue within 12 months, perform 50 hours of community service and pay a $500 criminal fine. Before court, the Hatchers filed their delinquent returns with the Department and paid $3,000 towards their restitution.

The state’s evidence showed that the Hatchers had been contacted numerous times by the Department of Revenue requesting that their delinquent returns be filed. The Hatchers blamed their failure to file returns on procrastination and bad organization.

The charges against the Hatchers resulted from an investigation by the Department’s Wilmington Field Examinations Office and a special agent with the Department’s Criminal Investigations Division in Raleigh.

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