Carl Collins III, a personal injury attorney known for his 855-CAR-HIT-U billboards, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for tax fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain ordered Collins to serve one year of supervised release and pay a $10,000 fine in addition to the 18-month prison sentence. A hearing has been set for Sept. 1 to determine the amount of restitution Collins must pay.
A federal jury found during a trial in November that Collins had willfully submitted six false tax returns for 2012, 2015 and 2018.
In addition to his Southfield law practice, Collins owned a real estate company, First Third LLC, and two medical-related companies, Alpha Living LLC and MedCity Rehabilitation Services LLC, officials said. During trial, evidence showed that Collins concealed money from the businesses by depositing it into Interest on Lawyer’s Trust Accounts, which hold funds on behalf of clients. Collins did not tell his tax-return preparers or the Michigan State Bar Foundation, which is required.
Collins has practiced law in Michigan for more than 25 years.