Stanly man pleads guilty to filing fraudulent tax return

Published 4:37 pm Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The following was released by the United States Attorney’s Office Middle District of North Carolina.

GREENSBORO – Brantley Todd Forrest, of Stanly County, appeared in federal court Jan. 3 on tax fraud charges, announced Sandra J. Hairston, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina. Forrest plead guilty to filing a false tax return, a violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1), after an investigation revealed that he had withheld information from a tax return preparer regarding income related to his business.

According to court-filed documents, Forrest owned and operated a business known as Fence Pro of the Carolinas. The investigation revealed that during the years 2017-2021, Forrest concealed $2,068,864 in gross revenues from the Internal Revenue Service and his tax return preparer. The income that Forrest reported on his returns was so low he qualified for tax credits designed for low-income, working individuals and COVID relief payments. Forrest’s conduct caused a tax loss of over $500,000.

“Federal income tax compliance should be equally shared among all Americans,” said Donald “Trey” Eakins, special agent in charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Charlotte Field Office. “Conspiring to defraud the government by underreporting taxable income is unlawful. Mr. Forrest’s plea today serves as an important reminder that IRS CI is committed to bringing to justice those who dodge their federal income tax responsibilities.”

Sentencing is scheduled to take place on April 30 at 11:30 a.m. in Greensboro, courtroom number 1, before United States District Court William L. Osteen Jr. At sentencing, Forrest faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison, a period of supervised release of up to one year and monetary penalties.

Sandra J. Hairston, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina made the announcement after United States District William L. Osteen Jr. accepted the plea. Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation is investigating the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Waid is prosecuting the case.