RALEIGH NC – A Granite Falls man who owns Chick-Fil-A in Hickory pleaded guilty to tax evasion Wednesday.

Kevin Mitchell Atkinson, 55, of 3523 Dry Ponds Road pleaded guilty to willful failure to file return, supply information or pay tax in Wake County District Court, according to a news release from the N.C. Department of Revenue.

An investigation by a special agent with the N.C. Department of Revenue found Atkinson was required to file individual income tax returns for tax years 2009, 2010 and 2011 but willfully failed to file the returns.

Wake County District Court Judge James. R. Fullwood sentenced Atkinson to a 45-day maximum prison term. The sentence was suspended and Atkinson was placed on a 12-month unsupervised probation.

Atkinson was ordered to pay restitution of $96,788.11 and was ordered to file all income tax returns in a timely and accurate fashion.

Atkinson is the sole proprietor of Chick-Fil-A in Hickory, the release said.

Atkinson said in an email that he has paid all the taxes owed and the matter is resolved. On the advice of his attorney, he made no further comment.

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