Pickens Co. tax preparer charged for tax evasion

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EASLEY, S.C. (WSPA) – A tax preparer in Pickens County has been sentenced to five years in prison for tax evasion.

Sonny M. Ninan, 65, of Easley, had been charged with multiple tax charges in January 2017, according to the SC Department of Revenue.

He was tried this week on six counts of tax evasion and convicted Wednesday, according to a news release.

A jury in Pickens County convicted Ninan of each count for attempting to evade Income Tax from 2010 – 2015.

Judge Perry Gravely sentenced Ninan to five years in prison for the first count, suspended to service of 18 months. Gravely sentenced Ninan to three years on the remaining counts, all to run concurrent with the first.

Ninan was also ordered to pay the state $75,000 in restitution.

As a tax and business consultant, Ninan operated Global Consultants and Taxpayer Services from an office in Easley, officials said.

Ninan previously owned Hailee’s Sports Bar and Grill in Mauldin, SC. He was convicted of under-reporting income earned on Individual Income Tax returns for tax years 2010 through 2015. 

Over a six year period (2010-2015), Ninan was accused of failing to report more than $1.13 million of income earned on state Income Tax returns filed, according to the Department of Revenue.

Arrest warrant affidavits alleged that Ninan attempted to evade more than $75,000 of state Income Tax by under-reporting income earned.

Ninan still has multiple charges pending in Greenville County that will be scheduled for trial at a later date.

In 2010 and 2011, Ninan was accused of failing to report more than $2.03 million of sales generated through the operation of Hailee’s Sports Bar and Grill in Mauldin. Arrest warrant affidavits alleged that Ninan attempted to evade approximately $122,000 of Sales Tax through the understatement of sales.

Ninan is also awaiting trial in Greenville on charges of preparing false tax returns and failing to remit tax payments from a third party.

No trial date for the pending charges has been set.

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