SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Public Affairs Office Phone (803) 898-5464
Contact: Danny Brazell Fax (803) 898-5446
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 10, 2003
Charlotte man charged with 35 counts of tax fraud
A Charlotte resident is being held at the Richland County Detention Center in Columbia after South Carolina Department of Revenue investigators Thursday (Oct. 9) charged him with 35 counts of filing fraudulent state income tax returns.
Charles Potts, Jr., 33, remains in jail on a $100,000 surety bond. Potts will be turned over to federal authorities in Charlotte later today to face federal charges related to the South Carolina charges. He will be returned to South Carolina later to face the South Carolina tax fraud charges in court.
The Department accuses Potts of filing fraudulent South Carolina income tax returns for tax years 2001 and 2002 using the names of deceased people to receive illegal income tax refunds. Potts appeared to have been using the Social Security Death Index on the Internet to obtain Social Security numbers and birth dates of the deceased people.
The Department of Revenue estimates Potts received about $5,000 in illegal refunds before Department officials became aware of his activities, although he filed additional fraudulent tax returns seeking more than
$79,000 in refunds. The Departmentís investigation into his alleged illegal activities continues and more charges could be filed.
Potts is facing up to five years in prison and fines of up to $500 on each of the 35 charges if he is convicted.