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Wilmington seafood distributor pleads guilty to tax evasion

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A Wilmington seafood distributor pleaded guilty today to federal tax evasion, according to the US Justice Department and the IRS.

Prosecutors say Jeffrey Wayne Scott, 48, admitted to one count of willfully attempting to evade his personal income tax. He faces up to five years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. A grand jury indicted him last year for five counts of personal income tax evasion and one count of filing a false corporate tax return.

"Today is a difficult day for Jeff Scott and his family," Scott's attorney Edwin West III said in an e-mailed statement. "There are two sides to every story, but Jeff looks forward to putting this behind him. He has filed amended tax returns and he has paid the taxes his accountant determined he owed the IRS.

"The Scotts are very grateful for the love and support of their family, friends, customers and business associates. Greenville Loop Seafood is open for business and looks forward to a successful summer season."

According to court documents and proceedings, Scott has owned and operated Greenville Loop Seafood, a seafood distribution company in Wilmington, since 1995. For tax years 2006 through 2010, investigators say Scott and his wife filed joint individual income tax returns. Scott provided his return preparer with handwritten summaries of gross receipts and categorized expense items for the wholesale and retail fish distribution businesses as well as tax documents provided by financial institutions. Scott, under penalty of perjury, reported that his taxable income for these five years ranged between $23,934 and $92,999, and paid only $91,800 in federal income taxes for this time period. During these five years, however, the Scotts spent far in excess of this reported taxable income on personal expenditures.

According to court documents and court proceedings, between 2006 and 2010, the Scotts paid for nearly all of their living expenses with checks from GLS. This included, among other things, utilities, insurance premiums, landscaping, home improvements, school fees and a country club membership. They also purchased five vehicles totaling more than $200,000, a $100,000 boat and a $2.1 million waterfront home. Scott also made a monthly transfer of $10,000 from GLS' business account into a personal brokerage account. After the purchase of their home in June 2009, Scott stopped transferring funds to the brokerage account, but instead used funds from GLS' business account to pay the mortgage and related expenses. Through a bank deposit and expenditure analysis, the IRS calculated that Scott failed to report taxable income for these five years in excess of $1,151,642 and owed at least $390,678 in additional taxes. For the 2007 tax year, Scott failed to report $328,754 in taxable income with an additional tax due and owing of $113,967.

According to court documents and court proceedings, when first contacted by IRS-Criminal Investigation agents in June 2011, Scott falsely stated that he was letting friends stay in his second home rent free. Furthermore, despite being aware that he was under criminal investigation, in November 2012, Scott filed a false 2011 GLS corporate income tax return claiming the painting of his personal residence, repair work by a plumber at his personal residence, and health bills related to his family dog as business expenses.

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There is no place on earth

There is no place on earth of reasonable measurement with no taxes.....The IRS has aggressively pursed tax evasion because of the farm bill, which passed recently along party lines in the house. However, this is rare because they have actually been pursuing smaller targets..... This guy is a thief stealing from our vital resources

tax evasion and a different set of rules

Well, this guy did screw up by not doing what he should have done and being Captain Obvious about it, but if he would have worked for the IRS he could have just not paid his taxes at all and gotten a bonus

Wish he Got Away with It

I wish this guy totally got away with it. Our government taxes the heck out of people and then wastes that money by giving much of it away to people that want to kill us in the Arab world. That's just one small example.
We need a fair tax system. The one that we have now should be illegal & immoral.

I agree

It always amazes me that the Feds can hunt down a job providing business owner who doesn't "pay their fair share" but could not care less about criminal illegals who steal from our system. It is total hypocrisy. Repeal the 16th Amendment!

Fair?

Let's just be honest. He was wrong. While we are being honest let's keep in mind the main reason this was pursued is money and he had plenty to take. The "less fortunate" take advantage of the tax system every day but it will never make news because they have nothing to take back. They are just as guilty no matter the amount. The IRS does not pursue anything debt they cannot collect on. Everyone knows this. As long as we vote there will never be a fair tax system.

"Got away with it"???? Are you serious?

"Got away with it"???? Are you serious? When you cheat on your taxes, you are stealing from your neighbor. All of us paying our taxes, and darn too much of them at that, are having to cover crooks like this.
Where do you think the money comes from to build our roads, our beach renourishment, schools, etc. Even Federal tax cheats hurt us locally because so very much of local government expenditures come from Federal transfers and grants (education, highways, etc)

PUT BLAME WHERE IT BELONGS

If you want to place blame on high taxes or complain someone is not paying their fair share blame the illegals that suck the system dry. You can also blame the generations of welfare takers and their hood rat kids. These people bleed the system dry and do not contribute one thing to it...ILLEGALS AND WELFARE TAKERS

Not condoning what he did at all...

but the sentencing of a tax cheat far too often exceeds that of a drug dealer.

Get a clue

Average sentence for tax cheats of $350K-500K is 18-24 months. Drug dealing can be a lot more than that. He is no different than a drug dealer, just stealing from all of us. If you are not angry, you are an idiot and part of the problem.

Sadly...

Mr. Scott could spend more time behind bars than a crack dealer.