Triangle CEO pleads guilty to filing false tax returns


Date: December 13, 2022


Raleigh business owner Alton Perkins, pled guilty yesterday for failing to account for approximately three-million dollars diverted from his companies for his own personal use between 2015 and 2018.

"Hardworking, taxpaying Americans deserve to know that the government will hold accountable tax cheats who dodge paying their fair share," said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. "This CEO tried to dodge paying his due by diverting company money to pay for vacations, expensive jewelry, and private school tuition. Yesterday he paid full price with a guilty plea."

"People who create elaborate schemes that have no purpose other than to mislead others and defraud the IRS run the very high risk of prosecution" said Donald "Trey" Eakins, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Field Office.

According to evidence summarized in court, Perkins moved large amounts of money from his business accounts into his personal bank accounts. These funds were then used for personal expenditures. None of the approximately three million spent by Perkins on these personal items was accounted for in his taxes filed with the IRS.

Perkins is the chairman and CEO of AmericaTowne, a company, according to its website, focused on increasing exports of American products to China. AmericaTowne, which was funded by investor dollars, included a plan to build an American-style community in China that would include hotels, small businesses, and a theme park. Perkins is currently involved in a civil lawsuit with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (Case No. 5:19-CV-00243-FL) over the unregistered private placement offerings and the sale of securities for AmericaTowne and other business entities controlled by Perkins.

In court, Perkins pled guilty to making and subscribing to false tax returns for his failure to account for his personal expenditures on his 2016 personal income tax return. According to evidence presented in court, for tax year 2016, Perkins stated that his total income was $21,933. However, banking records show that Perkins spent $1,208,394 that year on personal items including, a golf cart, a family trip to Hawaii, private high school tuition, and a Rolex – all with funds taken from Perkin's corporate bank accounts.

Perkins pled guilty to one felony charge of Making and Subscribing a False Tax Return Under Penalty of Perjury, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1). He faces up to three years in prison. According to the plea agreement, Perkins will make restitution in the amount of $520,344 to the IRS for taxes owed from 2015-2018.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones Jr. accepted the plea. The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys William M. Gilmore and Karen Haughton prosecuted the case.