A former Georgetown County economic development has been arrested on tax evasion charges.
Wayne Gregory, Jr., was arrested Wednesday by South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) investigators and charged with three counts of income tax evasion and fourteen counts of property tax evasion, all of which are felony charges.
Gregory had been the economic development director in Georgetown County from 2005 until his arrest in September 2013. He then took a job with the same title in the city of Columbia, but was arrested in April on embezzlement charges. Georgetown County Sheriff’s deputies said in that case that Gregory had misappropriated more than $194,000 using a county purchasing card.
During its investigation, SCDOR agents said they also discovered evaded paying property taxes in the amount of $17,172 from 2006 through 2013. Investigators said Gregory owned three residences – one each in Charleston, Georgetown and Greenville Counties — and claimed each as his primary residence, which allowed him to claim the lower “owner occupied” assessment ratio of 4% on all three. Legally, a property owner can only claim one home as their permanent residence.
“We are focused on and committed to the fair administration of tax laws,” said Rick Reames, Director of the South Carolina Department of Revenue, said in a statement. “The evasion of property taxes is of increasing concern statewide and especially in coastal communities because of the significant impact on local governments’ ability to serve their citizens.”
If convicted, Gregory faces a sentence of five years and/or $10,000 fine per count. He could also be required to pay restitution if found guilty.