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United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia

07/09/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/09/2019 16:05

Former Tidewater Businessman Sentenced for Tax and Fraud Crimes

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A North Carolina man was sentenced today to more than 12 years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States, tax fraud related to a fraudulent tax shelter, mail and wire fraud and money laundering.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Byron Hale Delavan, 63, of Asheville, engaged in a fraudulent tax and investment fraud scheme from approximately 2011 to 2017 that resulted to individual victims of over $1.1 million and a separate tax loss to the United States of over $400,000.'

'Delavan's crimes were not a rash or foolhardy act of someone that could not appreciate the consequences of his actions,' said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. 'Delavan operated sophisticated and comprehensive fraud schemes, including a Ponzi-type investment scheme and tax fraud that resulted in losses of over $1.5 million.'

The evidence at trial revealed that Delavan offered a fraudulent tax program to various individuals in the Tidewater area and elsewhere whereby individuals paid Delavan between $10,000 and $12,500 in order to obtain fraudulent losses to offset income on their tax returns. In doing so, Delavan purported to deduct business bad debts from non-operational entities he controlled, passing through these losses to client returns as if the clients were actually involved in these entities. Furthermore, Delavan solicited business loans and investments from some of the same and additional clients that he falsely represented would be used for business purposes. Contrary to this, Delavan used such funds for personal use, including the repayment of prior clients and personal expenses, such as private school tuition. Finally, Delavan purported to sell gold to certain clients, but made false representations related to the value or existence of the gold or the purpose of the funds obtained.

'Delavan realized today that crime does not pay,' said Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). 'Delavan not only evaded paying his fair share of taxes to the IRS, but betrayed the public trust by bilking over a million dollars out of victims.'

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Samuels prosecuted the case.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service provided assistance through the Newport News Financial Crimes Task Force. Also, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) staff cooperated with federal authorities regarding this matter.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:18-cr-23.