Trial begins for Hattiesburg accountant charged with federal tax crimes

Trial begins for Hattiesburg accountant charged with federal tax crimes
Carl Nicholson is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States government, four counts of false statement on income tax return and six counts of willfully aiding and assisting in preparation of false tax returns.

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The trial for a Hattiesburg accountant charged with federal tax-related crimes began on Monday in the William M. Colmer Federal Building in Hattiesburg.

The jury was seated Monday in the trial of Carl Nicholson, a certified public accountant. Nicholson is charged with 11 felony counts, including one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States government, four counts of false statement on income tax return and six counts of willfully aiding and assisting in preparation of false tax returns.

Nicholson pleaded not guilty to all 11 counts in July 2018.

The first witness called Monday was a representative from the IRS. Several of Nicholson’s tax returns were viewed as part of the state’s evidence against him.

The state alleges Nicholson used his business to pay personal expenses and used those expenses on his business income tax returns to lower his income and avoiding paying taxes owed.

According to the superseding indictment’s first count, Nicholson, a person identified only as “JL” and a law firm known only as “JLPA,” from July 2012 through April 2015, presented JL’s personal expenses paid with funds from the law firm as business expenses incurred by the law firm.

The second count alleges Nicholson falsely stated “other expenses,” primarily with Forrest General Hospital, as well as total expenses and total income on individual tax returns filed from 2013 through 2016.

The third count featured six charges saying Nicholson “did willfully aid and assist and procure, counsel and advise the preparation and presentation … of a false joint U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, for “JL” and “GL” for the years 2012-14 and false corporate returns for JLPA for the same time frame.

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