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August 25, 2014

Little Rock Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Nashville Field Office announced today Christopher T. Craig, 47, formerly of Little Rock, now of Atlanta, Georgia, waived indictment and pled guilty to an Information charging him with two counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent income tax returns.

IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher A. Henry said, "While most return preparers provide excellent service to their clients, a few unscrupulous tax preparers file false and fraudulent returns to defraud the government, the tax-paying public and their own clients. The defendant in this investigation wreaked havoc on the integrity of our tax system in a very short period of time. Taxpayers should be selective in choosing a return preparer, and have confidence knowing that person will prepare accurate tax returns and safeguard their financial information."

Craig admitted that on April 30, 2010, and March 1, 2012, he prepared false employment tax returns, Forms 941, on behalf of other taxpayers. The returns were false and fraudulent, in that, unknown to the taxpayers, Craig filed the returns in a way that reduced the amount of Federal withholdings the taxpayers owed to the IRS. Craig collected payments from the taxpayers for the correct amount of employment taxes, but diverted to himself the difference between the correct amount owed and the amount paid to the IRS. For these two returns, Craig diverted to himself a total of $43,280.50; employment tax payments he collected from the taxpayers which he should have paid over to the IRS.

Craig admitted that the total loss to the government was $1,092,177.79 as a result of his fraudulent conduct

Craig faces a maximum penalty of not more than three years in prison on each of the two counts and/or a fine of up to $500,000. The sentencing date will be set by the court.

This investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patricia S. Harris.

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