Fayetteville Businessman Pleads Guilty in State Tax Case

Raleigh, NC

A Fayetteville businessman pleaded guilty Wednesday in Wake County Superior Court to a felony tax charge filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Heath Curtis Vandevender, 49, of 932 Westland Ridge Road, Fayetteville, pleaded guilty on June 28, 2017 to one count of Embezzlement of State Property.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Kendra Hill sentenced Vandevender to a 16-month minimum, 29-month maximum prison term. The sentence was suspended and as a condition of probation, Vandevender was ordered to serve 90 days in the custody of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. Vandevender was also placed on supervised probation for 60 months, ordered to pay a $45,000 criminal fine and complete 100 hours of community service work. Vandevender paid $388,422.68 in restitution prior to the plea.

Information presented in court showed that Vandevender, Vice-President of Truth Outreach Center, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, located in Fayetteville, aided and abetted the corporation to embezzle, misapply and convert to its own use $388,422.68 in North Carolina State Withholding Tax during the period January 2008 through December 2015. During this period of time, Vandevender was the responsible person of the corporation and was under a duty to collect, hold in trust, and remit North Carolina Withholding Tax to the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

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