New Bern woman pleads guilty to methamphetamine distribution and tax fraud

 

Date: January 27, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Wilmington, N.C. — A New Bern woman pleaded guilty today to Distribution of Fifty Grams or More of Methamphetamine and Aiding and Abetting (Count One) and Conspiracy to Defraud the Internal Revenue Service (Count Two).

According to court documents, on January 22, 2020, Antoinette Charmane Becton aided and abetted the distribution of fifty grams or more of methamphetamine.

Law enforcement agents used a confidential informant and an undercover agent to arrange the purchase of one pound (approximately 453 grams) of methamphetamine from Becton, who stated that she would reach out to her supplier to obtain the methamphetamine.

Becton and her supplier then met with the confidential informant and undercover agent in a parking lot in Greenville, North Carolina where the transaction was completed. The drugs were field tested for the presence of methamphetamine, with positive results.

Prior to this crime, Becton owned and operated a tax return business known as Carolina Tax Services in New Bern. From 2014 to 2019, Becton conspired with others to electronically file false tax returns with the IRS.

By including false wage income, Becton caused the IRS to issue refunds the taxpayers were not entitled to.

At today's hearing, the government proffered that Becton caused the filing of at least 489 false returns, seeking approximately $3.2 million in fraudulent refunds.

Becton faces a mandatory minimum of five years and maximum of 40 years in prison for the methamphetamine distribution offense. She faces a maximum of five years' imprisonment for the tax fraud conspiracy when sentenced.

The Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Greenville Police Department, the Craven County Sheriff's Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are investigating the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott Lemmon and Susan Menzer are prosecuting the case.