Charlotte furniture store owners guilty on tax crimes

A South Carolina couple received suspended sentences after pleading guilty this week to felony tax crimes involving their two Charlotte furniture stores.

Thomas and Michelle Alexander kept $273,948 they owed in North Carolina sales taxes from their businesses, District 704 and Urban Farmhouse Furniture Co., according to a news release by the state Department of Revenue on Tuesday.

The couple lives in Indian Land, South Carolina, and operates Urban Farmhouse on Johnston Road in Ballantyne and District 704 on Monroe Road, public records show.

The Alexanders kept the money for their own use, state tax officials said in the release. The department did not say how the couple spent the money. The Alexanders paid the money back to the state as restitution in Wake County Superior Court before Monday’s guilty pleas, according to the state Department of Revenue.

Couple plead guilty to charges

The couple didn’t reply to phone messages from The Charlotte Observer Tuesday. Their stores are closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Thomas Alexander, who is 56, pleaded guilty to two counts of aid and abet embezzlement of state property and one count of conspiracy to commit embezzlement of state property, state tax officials said.

Michelle Alexander, who is 51, pleaded guilty to one count of aid and abet embezzlement of state property and two counts of conspiracy to commit embezzlement of state property, according to the Department of Revenue.

Judge orders 3-day jail sentences

A Superior Court judge suspended Thomas Alexander’s sentence of 19 to 32 months in prison and his wife’s sentence of 16 to 29 months in prison.

Both were placed on 2 years of supervised probation and ordered jailed in Wake County for three days. The Alexanders also must serve 2 months on electronic home monitoring and complete 100 hours of community service.

The missing tax payments at District 704 involved $147,456.38 and stretched Feb 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2019, court records show. The issue at Urban Farmhouse involved $126,492.95 from Jan. 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021, according to court documents.

In a statement Tuesday, N.C. Department of Revenue officials said the department “funds public services benefiting the people of North Carolina. We administer the tax laws and collect the taxes due in an impartial, consistent, secure, and efficient manner.”

This story was originally published February 7, 2023, 2:18 PM.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.


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