Chatham County Business Owner Pleads Guilty in State Tax Case

June 16, 2016

RALEIGH – A Chatham County businessman pleaded guilty Tuesday in Wake County Superior Court to a felony charge filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Ralph Richard Lasater, 71, of 2617 Mount Gilead Church Road, Pittsboro, North Carolina, was charged on May 26, 2015 with one count of Embezzlement of State Property and four counts of Willful Failure to a File Return, Supply Information, or Pay Tax.  Lasater pleaded guilty on June 7, 2016 to Embezzlement of State Property.

Superior Court Judge G. Wayne Abernathy sentenced Lasater to a 19-month minimum, 32-month maximum prison term.  The sentence was suspended and Lasater was ordered to serve a 30 day active sentence in the custody of the Division of Adult Corrections.  Following incarceration he was ordered to be placed on supervised probation for 60 months.  Lasater paid $14,954.21 in restitution at the time of plea, and was ordered to pay a $2,500 criminal fine.    

Information presented in court showed that Lasater, managing partner of Community Planning & Architectural Associates, PLLC, aided and abetted the business to embezzle, misapply, and convert to its own use and otherwise willfully or corruptly abuse the state’s trust regarding North Carolina Withholding Tax from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013.  During this period of time, Lasater was the responsible person of Community Planning & Architectural Associates, PLLC, and was under the duty to collect, hold in trust, and remit North Carolina State Taxes to the North Carolina Department of Revenue.
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