SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE Phone (803) 898-5464
Contact: Danny Brazell Fax (803) 898-5446
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2003
Anderson man second person charged in tax fraud case
South Carolina Department of Revenue investigators have charged an Anderson County man, who was being held at the Anderson County Detention Center on charges from an unrelated case, with tax fraud.
Michael Witcher, 29, a resident of Anderson, was charged March 21 with nine counts of preparing fraudulent state income tax returns, one count of filing a fraudulent tax return and two counts of criminal conspiracy related to the tax fraud. Witcher, who also was charged with forgery by the Anderson County Sheriff's Department in an unrelated case, is currently being held at the Anderson County Detention Center on a $75,000 surety bond following the tax fraud charges. Witcher's wife, Donna, 36, was arrested March 13 on one count of submitting a fraudulent state income tax return and two counts of criminal conspiracy related to the tax fraud. She was released on bond.
Michael Witcher is accused by the Department of Revenue of preparing fraudulent 2001 state income tax returns for family members in which he exaggerated the amount of state taxes withheld from the family members' wages to obtain larger refunds. He also is accused of claiming bogus tax deductions on the returns and he and his wife are accused of submitting a fraudulent tax return for themselves. The Department estimates the Witchers claimed a total of $30,547 in fraudulent state tax refunds.
The Department's investigation showed the family members were unaware the returns the Witchers prepared for them were fraudulent and no further charges are expected.
Michael Witcher is facing up to 60 years in prison and his wife up to 15 years if they are convicted of the charges.
The Anderson County Sheriff's Department assisted the Department of Revenuewith the Witcher's arrests.