AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - Tax season has arrived in Augusta, and with it comes a warning from the Department of Revenue against filing false tax returns. One man did not heed that warning and has now been sentenced to prison.

Julius Williams was found guilty after a two-day trial and sentenced to the maximum of five years in prison for making a false statement on his 2017 tax return. Williams filed a return for $100,000,689.00 on Mar. 15, 2019. He then repeatedly contacted the Department of Revenue demanding payment of his refund.

During the trial, Williams took the stand and claimed he was acting righteously in God's eyes. However, Assistant District Attorney Kyle Davis reminded him of the commandments against stealing and bearing false witness during cross-examination. Williams told the jury that they would have to answer to God if they convicted him, but the Richmond County Jury did not heed his warning and delivered a guilty verdict in just fourteen minutes.

This was not Williams' first offense. ADA Davis revealed during the trial that Williams had a similar conviction in federal court in Maryland. Williams had prepared tax returns for immigrants, using their identities to claim them as dependents on his personal taxes. He was in federal prison in 2017 for this offense, proving that he should have known he had no income to claim on his 2017 tax return.

The Department of Revenue reminds taxpayers to be truthful and accurate when filing their tax returns. Filing a false return can result in severe consequences, including prison time. The Augusta community can rest easy knowing that justice has been served in this case.

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