SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - A Winston-Salem resident, who ran tax preparation businesses in Salisbury and Kannapolis, and is also licensed as an attorney in Georgia, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to aiding and assisting in the preparation of a fraudulent tax return, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department's Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Hairston for the Middle District of North Carolina.
According to documents and information provided to the court, between 2006 and 2016, Shannon DeWayne Patterson was an attorney licensed to practice in Georgia.
Between January and May 2015, Patterson co-owned and operated tax preparation businesses named "Fast Tax" in the cities of Salisbury and Kannapolis, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
Patterson employed several individuals to prepare clients' tax returns. Patterson instructed his employees to fabricate information on their clients' tax returns to maximize their refunds. Patterson admitted to aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent tax returns that sought more than $60,000 in fraudulent tax refunds.
Patterson also admitted filing false personal tax returns for 2014 and 2015, on which he underreported his income.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 12, 2018 before U.S. District Court Judge William L. Osteen, Jr. Patterson faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison, a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and Acting U.S. Attorney Hairston thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney Robert J. Boudreau of the Tax Division and Criminal Division Chief Clifton T. Barrett of the Middle District of North Carolina, who are prosecuting the case.
Patterson served two terms as the chapter president of the Winston-Salem NAACP.