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Tax Fraud Charges Greet Local Champ In Rocky Mount

A small business owner from Rocky Mount is the target of a federal tax fraud investigation. The U.S. Department of Justice has accused Larry Hill Jr. of Hill's Tax Service of filing "false, fictitious and fraudulent refunds" on behalf of customers of the tax business as well as in his personal tax filings. In total, the US DOJ asserts that Hill filed for $14.4 million in fraudulent tax refunds.

It is estimated that Hill received $1,000 for every false or fraudulent tax refund processed through his company. All five offices - in Rocky Mount, Wilson, Scotland Neck, Hollister and Farmville - have been closed.

Hill is facing federal fraud and conspiracy charges.

According to the criminal complaint, Hill inflated his customers' income levels to maximize their returns under the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The inflated income levels were achieved by fraudulently reporting interest income. In 2012, the maximum EITC was $5,891 with three or more qualifying children.

The IRS receives interest statements (1099-INT) from financial institutions that should match up to any claims made by an individual on his or her tax return. In the cases of Hill's clients, the interest payments were entirely false, according to the DOJ, and there were no matching 1099-INT forms that matched the claimed interest income. Hill and his workers then offset the income through reporting false withholdings that balanced out the claimed interest income.

Perhaps ironic to this man's federal criminal fight is that he bills himself as the "People's Champ" in his neighborhood, through youtube videos encouraging kids to stay out of trouble and offering cash rewards to those that do.

Source: WRAL, "Rocky Mount man touts crime-free living despite facing fraud charges," July 8, 2013

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