By Wendy Holdren
A Pineville attorney was sentenced in U.S. District Court Thursday to serve 18 months in federal prison for tax evasion.
Charles B. Mullins II, 52, of Daniels, pleaded guilty in August 2012 and admitted failing to pay more than $389,000 in taxes from 2006 to 2009.
He admitted he also owes the public defender program $223,605 and Daniels Capital Corp. $184,030 by making false statements concerning the amount of work he did on court-appointed criminal defense work.
He also admitted to classifying personal expenses as business expenses, writing checks for his personal use from his office’s client trust account and not accurately reporting his income to the IRS.
U.S. District Judge Berger sentenced Mullins to 18 months in prison, three years supervised release and ordered him to pay $780,146 restitution.
During the court proceeding Thursday morning, Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Thomas made a motion to enhance Mullins’ sentence because he allegedly asked several people to lie to investigators about his case.
Thomas called George Anthony “Tony” Reichert to the witness stand. Reichert said he has known Mullins for 20 years and he has represented him as an attorney previously.
Berger noted to Reichert that since he has pending charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, to be aware that his testimony could be used in future court proceedings.
Reichert initially said he did not want to testify without his lawyer present, but then changed his mind. He was hesitant to confirm or deny any dates brought to his attention by either attorney during questioning.
Reichert and his wife, Nancy, were the owners of a painting business and he alleged that Mullins asked him to tell investigators any painting services done at his home were actually done at his office.
After Reichert told Mullins he would not lie, Reichert alleged that his son was attacked and he believed Mullins was responsible, so he then called the FBI.
Assistant Public Defender Christian Capece noted Reichert’s multiple prior convictions, including testifying falsely under oath.
Capece asked him, “Since you’ve lied before in the past to benefit yourself, is it possibly you’re doing so now?”
Reichert replied, “Yes, it’s possible.”
Capece offered no further questions.
After Reichert left the witness stand, Judge Berger said he ranks among the worst witnesses in terms of credibility that she has ever seen on the witness stand in her 30-year legal career.
Marvin Ray Garrett was called as another witness and his testimony contradicted previous interviews recorded with the counselors.
An obstruction charge would have nearly doubled Mullins’ sentence and Berger said she was uncomfortable using either witness’s testimony for a sentence enhancement.
“I am not convinced that an obstruction took place.”
Mullins’ sentence was delayed until the end of February, due to an optometrist appointment for a correctional procedure for his eye.
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