NC man pleads guilty to tax evasion, serving as pilot without license

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WASHINGTON — A North Carolina man pleaded guilty Tuesday to tax evasion and four counts of serving as a pilot without an airman’s certificate.

According to court documents, from 2011 to 2014, Paul Douglas Tharp attempted to evade paying an outstanding income tax debt by filing false documents with the Internal Revenue Service.

Court documents showed that Tharp owed more than $300,000 to the IRS after he failed to file tax returns from 2003 through 2006.

In 2011, Tharp provided a false Form 433-A to an IRS revenue officer who was assigned to collect his unpaid taxes. Tharp also failed to report that he owned an airport and an investment firm.

From 2012 to 2014, Tharp filed tax returns for the 2011 through 2013 tax years and did not report a significant amount of income he received from his airport and rental properties.

During his plea, Tharp admitted that he also served as a pilot on four different occasions without the required certification in 2012. He surrendered his pilot certificate on August 2, 2012, and then piloted four flights out of the Davidson County Airport after that date.

Tharp faces a potential statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for the tax evasion charge and three years in prison for each count of serving as a pilot without an airman’s certificate, as well as a maximum fine of $250,000 for each count of conviction, according to a release.

He is also required to pay $281,366.62 in restitution to the IRS. Tharp’s sentencing hearing is set for April 22, 2016.

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