Thomas W. Hird of Kearney was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison for filing false tax returns, Acting U.S. Attorney Jan Sharp announced.

Hird, 67, was sentenced in Lincoln by U.S District Court Judge John M. Gerrard. He will also serve three years of supervised release with special conditions after his imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system.

Also, he was ordered to pay $83,063 in restitution.

Sharp said Hird owned and operated a nail salon business, Nails Unlimited in Kearney, since 2009. Starting around February that year, he would skim the cash and checks to the business.

Hird would cash a majority of all customer checks, and also exchange small bills for $100 bills. Credit/debit card transactions at the business would automatically be deposited into the business bank account, but cash and check payments were rarely deposited, prosecutors said.

Sharp said Hird failed to report the cashed customer checks and the currency as part of his gross income on his income tax returns.

The Internal Revenue Service began investigating Hird’s actions sometime in 2017, prosecutors said. Hird was convicted by a jury in late March. The jury found him guilty of filing false tax returns for 2014, 2015, and 2016.

“Today, Mr. Hird has been held accountable for intentionally dodging his tax responsibilities when he did not report all income earned through his nail salon business,” said Tyler Hatcher, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation’s St. Louis Field Office.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.

Hatcher said the IRS-CI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office continue to work together to bring those who under report their tax liabilities to justice.

© 2021 The North Platte Bulletin. All rights reserved.