Buncombe County Business Owner Pleads Guilty in State Tax Case


RALEIGH – A Buncombe County businesswoman pleaded guilty Tuesday in Wake County Superior Court to felony charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Ashlee Nicole McDowell, 33, of 18 Normandy Rd., Asheville, pleaded guilty on July 28, 2015 to six counts of Embezzlement of State Property and six counts of Embezzlement of County Property.

Superior Court Judge Elaine M. Bushfan sentenced McDowell to a 16-month minimum, 29-month maximum prison term.  The sentence was suspended and McDowell was placed on supervised probation for 60 months.  McDowell paid $10,000 toward restitution at the time of her plea and was ordered to pay the remaining restitution of $34,276.88 over the period of probation. She was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and complete 100 hours of community service work.    

Information presented in court showed that McDowell, owner of Nostalgique Antiques and Interiors, located in Asheville, embezzled, misapplied, and converted to her own use $44,276.88 in state and Buncombe County sales tax, during the period October 1, 2009 through September 22, 2014.  During this period of time, McDowell was the owner and responsible person of Nostalgique Antiques and Interiors, which was under a duty to collect, hold in trust, and remit North Carolina State Taxes to the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

The charges against McDowell resulted from an investigation by special agents with the Department’s Criminal Investigations Section in Raleigh.


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