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Two North Carolina women pled guilty to tax fraud, officials said more than 1,000 false returns were filed

Tax reform
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File photo: Tax calculations.

Two North Carolina women pleaded guilty this week conspiring to defraud the government by preparing false tax returns for clients and causing more than 1,000 false tax returns to be filed with the IRS, resulting in about $5 million dollars in fraudulent refunds.

According to court documents, from the year 2009 through 2018 Betty Hawkins, 51, and Phyllis Ricks, 63, both of Rocky Mount, conspired with others to file false tax returns for clients of the tax preparation businesses where they worked.

Hawkins and Ricks are scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 16. Both face a maximum penalty of five years in prison. They also face a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

Kelly Batchelor hails from the small crossroads community of Cabin in Duplin County in eastern North Carolina. Since 1989 Kelly has been actively employed in radio.