NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCN) — A Raleigh CEO will spend two years in prison for spending roughly $3 million from his investor-funded business on personal items including a Hawaiian vacation and a Rolex watch.

The U.S. Department of Justice said former AmericaTowne CEO Alton Perkins received his 24-month sentence Tuesday and was ordered to pay $520,344 to the IRS in back taxes from 2015-18.

He pleaded guilty in December to filing a false tax return, and faced up to three years in prison.

“We are holding accountable tax cheats who avoid paying their fair share,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “This CEO diverted company money to fund vacations, expensive jewelry and private school tuition. His attempts to defraud the government have led to time in federal prison.” 

Perkins was the chairman and CEO of AmericaTowne, a company that exports goods to China and plans to build an American-style community there.

According to evidence presented in court, prosecutors accused Perkins of moving large sums of money from his business account to his personal one.

The Justice Department says none of the roughly $3 million he spent on personal items was accounted for in tax returns filed with the IRS.

His plea was focused on his tax return from 2016. Evidence presented in court showed he claimed a total income of $21,933 that year.

But bank records show he spent more than $1.2 million that year on personal items including a golf cart, a trip to Hawaii, tuition at a private high school and a Rolex — all with funds from his corporate bank accounts, prosecutors said.