Matthews, North Carolina man is sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion


Date: May 25, 2023


Darren Lee Joy, of Matthews, N.C. was sentenced yesterday in federal court before U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney for tax evasion, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, and Stuart M. Goldberg, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Tax Division.

Joy received a sentence of 36 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Donald "Trey" Eakins, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Charlotte Field Office (IRS-CI) joins U.S. Attorney King and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg in making the announcement.

According to court documents filed in the case and the sentencing hearing, from 1987 through 1990, 1993, 1996 through 2008, and 2010 through 2021, Joy did not file individual income tax returns despite earning more income than the minimum filing requirement. In order to evade his taxes, Joy submitted and maintained with his employers Forms W-4 and state tax forms, falsely claiming that he was exempt from federal and state income tax withholding when he was not entitled to claim exempt status. As a result, court documents show that taxes were not withheld from his wages and little to no taxes were paid over to the IRS or his state of residence. In total, Joy earned more than $1.8 million in income and owed the IRS and California more than $380,000 in taxes.

On July 19, 2022, Joy pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion for his 2015 tax return.

Joy's original sentencing date was April 26, 2023, however, he failed to appear, and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. During the sentencing, Judge Whitney found that Joy obstructed justice by failing to appear for his original sentencing date and by filing numerous frivolous documents with the Court and the IRS. In pronouncing the sentence, Judge Whitney said that this sentence should show others that there are consequences for not paying your taxes. In addition to the term of imprisonment, the Court ordered Joy to pay $359,859 in restitution to the IRS and $23,058 in restitution to the State of California.

U.S. Attorney King and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg thanked IRS-CI for their investigation of the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Caryn Finley of the Western District of North Carolina and Trial Attorney Brian Flanagan of the Justice Department's Tax Division prosecuted the case.