RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- An ex-aide to former North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley has pleaded guilty to one count of income tax evasion exactly two weeks before his federal trial on 57 corruption-related counts was set to begin.
U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle accepted the plea agreement Monday between Ruffin Poole and government prosecutors during a hastily scheduled hearing.
A date for sentencing has not been set. Poole has agreed to cooperate with the government as part of the deal.
Poole was once Easley's personal assistant and special counsel. He was indicted in January on charges such as tax evasion, bribery and money laundering, accused of helping move along state permits for coastal housing projects while receiving gifts and making a sizable investment return on two of those subdivisions.
Poole had pleaded not guilty earlier this month.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
PRESS RELEASE FROM U.S. ATTORNEY
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today CHARLES RUFFIN POOLE, 38, of Raleigh, North Carolina, pled guilty before United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle to federal income tax evasion, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7201. A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment on March 18, 2010.
According to the Plea Agreement, on April 14, 2006, POOLE attempted to evade a portion of his 2005 federal income tax liability by concealing his receipt of $30,000.00 of income he received in connection with his involvement in the financing of Cannonsgate, a high-end community in Carteret County. As part of the Plea Agreement, POOLE agreed that he failed to report and correctly identify the source of income from criminal activity. The maximum penalty is up to five years’ imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.00.
Investigation of this case is being conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations Division. First Assistant United States Attorney John Stuart Bruce and Assistant United States Attorney Dennis M. Duffy are assigned as prosecutors.