WRAL Investigates

'People's champ' Larry Hill sentenced to prison for tax fraud

Posted February 4, 2014

— A Rocky Mount businessman at the center of a WRAL investigation last July was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison Tuesday for tax fraud.

Prosecutors said Larry Hill, who coined himself “the people’s champ” for his efforts to keep local children out of trouble, didn’t live by his own message and that his case represented “disturbing hypocrisy.”

In a YouTube clip posted in November 2012, Hill says, “I want all my young people to think before you act. Trouble is too easy to get into, and once you get into trouble, you’ll be all by yourself.”

Federal Judge Earl Britt sentenced Hill to 100 months in prison for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and 18 months for filing false tax returns. Prosecutors said he ran shady tax preparation businesses that stole millions from the federal government.

Hill’s sentences run concurrently, so he will spend eight years and four months at the federal correctional institution in Butner. He was also given three years supervised release and was ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution.

In court Tuesday, Hill asked for mercy and a reduced sentence because of his community work in Rocky Mount. Prosecutors recommended he get the lower end of the sentence, which ranged from 100 to 125 months, because he was cooperative and gave Harnett County sheriff’s deputies information about a murder case that he received from another inmate.

The judge agreed to the lower sentence of 100 months but said Hill deserved the “most severe punishment to reflect the seriousness of the offense,” pointing out that Hill used much of the money to buy himself expensive jewelry and cars, including a Maserati. The judge also noted that Hill was on supervised release from an insurance fraud prison term when he committed the tax fraud.

The WRAL Investigates team caught up with Hill at a used car sales business last June, where he was known as “the head honcho.” He declined to comment, but later emailed WRAL to say that he shares "some of the blame" for his legal troubles.

"He without sin cast the first stone," Hill wrote, adding that “life would be boring” if everyone was like actor Bill Cosby.


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  • MaxD Feb 5, 2014

    I'm pretty sure Paul Wall is the "People's Champ"

  • ncprr1 Feb 5, 2014

    You have to run for congress if you want to be able to get away with tax fraud.

  • Hill55 Feb 5, 2014

    I have a question for our state and federal regulators: why isn't a license required to do tax work? Taxes are based on law, and you wouldn't dare practice law without a license. And CPAs, their licensed too. Not this guy? I guess a copy of Turbo Tax and a laptop is all you need to get into the tax business. Well, good they got this guy, but you have to wonder how many more throughout the country are exploiting the tax law in the same way he did.

  • Dr Sanchez Feb 4, 2014

    Bring that swag to jail Larry Hill.

  • Save It Feb 4, 2014

    This guy probably talks a lot... about himself. Most of these con artists are self absorbed motor mouths.

  • ecp1951 Feb 4, 2014

    and he had the nerve to ask for leniency! disgusting

  • GALNC Feb 4, 2014

    Bottom line...tax fraud should not take away community work which he probably did to get leads from the kids parents.... Crime is crime. Bill Cosby is a great role model. Maybe he needs to think about that.

  • bakerbillwade Feb 4, 2014

    So glad he got caught and will pay the price. How do you spell narcissism? Here is the definition: Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder[1] in which a person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity.

  • LastSon1981 Feb 4, 2014

    I think life would be hilarious if everyone was like Bill Cosby

  • akademicpro Feb 4, 2014