• Cornelius lawyer admits filing false tax return


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Federal prosecutors say a Cornelius attorney has pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return.

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    The U.S. Department of Justice says in a news release that 70-year-old John Francis Hanzel, from at least 2011 through 2014, Hanzel reported minimal income on his returns, fraudulently reporting total income of less than $73,000 for those four years and paying total federal income tax of less than $5,500 during that time period.

    Prosecutors also accused Hanzel of fraudulently deducting personal expenses paid out of his law firm bank account as business expenses.

    Hanzel, who entered his plea last Friday, faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

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