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North Carolina man admits to tax fraud

A man in Stanly County has pleaded guilty Wednesday in a federal tax fraud investigation.

Michael Todd Forrest of Albemarle pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem to filing a false tax return, U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Hairston announced.

According to court-filed documents, Forrest owned and operated a business known as The Forrest Fence Company LLC in Albemarle, and from 2017 to 2021 he routinely directed customers to make checks payable to him instead of to the business.

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Forrest then cashed those checks or deposited them into a personal bank account instead of the Forrest Fence business checking account, and he would would conceal those checks from his tax return preparer, which resulted in a tax loss of over $200,000.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 14 at 9:30 a.m. in Winston-Salem. Forrest faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison, a period of supervised release of up to one year, and monetary penalties.

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