Cullman CPA arrested on multiple counts of theft in connection to tax filings
CULLMAN, Ala. (WAFF) -People in Cullman are taken by surprise to learn their well-respected CPA is facing fraud charges.
According to the Cullman Police Department, Barry Thompson was charged with three counts of theft and believes there may be other victims involved.
Authorities were alerted to the CPA after multiple people were contacted by the IRS for un-filed taxes, even after paying him for his services.
“We’ve always had a good relationship, but I was shocked. I will tell you I was shocked,” said Tammy Netherton who says Thompson had done her taxes for 15 years without any issues.
This year, she owed on her taxes and kept track of her bank account to make sure she paid what she owed. But when she was never charged, she came back to Thompson looking for answers.
“Weeks went by and weeks went by and I kept trying to call him and couldn’t get in touch with him,” Netherton said. “I’d go by the office, couldn’t get in touch with him. And I knew there was some sort of a problem.”
Prior to his arrest, Thompson had been fined $4,500 dollars by the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy for failing to respond to an audit. The board later revoked Thompson’s CPA license in January, making him ineligible to file anybody’s taxes.
The day after Thompson’s arrest, Cullman Police made a Facebook post warning others to check the status of their taxes if they worked with Thompson.
Cullman’s Chief of Police David Nassetta says that post opened the floodgates for more tips.
“As time went on we had even more people come forward and say ‘Yeah I think this happened to us.’ In that time since yesterday, we’ve really been inundated with calls. He’s done some of their tax work, but they have not yet determined whether or not he actually filed them,” he said.
Netherton didn’t speak ill of Thompson but believes it was the right thing for her to speak up so that others won’t have the same experience as her.
“I know that some people wait on their refunds, they’re literally waiting on their refunds to pay things, they need those finances for bills or expenses or things like that, and they may not even know,” she said. “They may just be thinking the government is slow on processing their refund or something.”
Nassetta also says he expects to see more charges filed against Thompson in the future.
For people that have filed with Thompson and have not received a tax refund, please check your return status to make sure your return has been filed with the IRS.
If it has not been filed, Cullman PD urges victims to come and speak to them.
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