Duplin County Woman Convicted of Tax Evasion

Raleigh

RALEIGH – A Warsaw woman was found guilty Thursday on felony tax evasion charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Sharon Sutton Riddick, 58, of 516 N. Center Street in Warsaw, was found guilty on April 9, 2015 of twelve felony counts of Attempting to Evade or Defeat Tax, and four counts of Failure to File Return, Supply Information, or Pay Tax.

Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins sentenced Riddick to three consecutive sentences for a total of fifteen to eighteen months. These sentences were suspended for a period of 60 months of supervised probation. As conditions of probation, Riddick was ordered to complete 30 days in the custody of the Department of Adult Probation, and was ordered to pay restitution of $25,489.75 over the period of probation and a $1,000 fine.

Information presented during trial showed Riddick willfully maintained with her former employer, the North Carolina Department of Corrections, fraudulent Forms NC-4 during tax years 1999 through 2010, claiming to be exempt from North Carolina Individual Income tax withholding. These actions caused the North Carolina Department of Corrections to not withhold state individual income tax from her wages when in fact she was not exempt from state individual income tax withholding, all in an attempt to evade and defeat the North Carolina Individual Income Tax. Riddick was also found guilty of Failing to File Return, Supply Information, or Pay Tax for the tax years 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Evidence presented in court showed that Riddick claimed to be a member of the “Washitaw Nation.” She also claimed to be exempt from paying Federal and State income taxes. Riddick provided fraudulent Forms NC-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificates, to her employer claiming to be “Exempt” for withholding tax purposes, and as a conclusive act of evasion failed to file individual income tax returns for the tax years 1999 through 2010. She claimed to have learned about this scheme from seminars that were held at her church, and supported by her Pastor Frank Bowden. Bowden and a co-defendant, were found guilty of federal charges in 2003 and received active federal prison sentences.

The charges against Riddick resulted from an investigation by a Special Agent with the Department’s Criminal Investigations Section in Raleigh.

 


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