FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - November 16, 2009
GREENVILLE CITY COUNCILMAN RECEIVES FEDERAL PRISON TIME
FOR TAX-RELATED CHARGES
NEW BERN - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on November 12, 2009, Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced CHARLES R. CRAFT, 57, Greenville, North Carolina, to one year and one day imprisonment. Restitution in the amount of $192,000 was also imposed, which CRAFT paid at the time of his sentencing.
A Criminal Information was filed on April 28, 2009. On June 1, 2009, CRAFT pled guilty to false statements in a tax return.
From 2001 to 2004, CRAFT, d.b.a. Signs Now, earned $599,933,an average of $150,00 per year for the time period, of which he did not pay taxes on. The investigation determined that in total, CRAFT, a Greenville City Councilman, has unpaid taxes in the amount of $190,000, an average of $50,000 per year for the four-year period.
CRAFT submitted over a hundred pages of material in support of his sentencing. He argued for a sentence of probation based on service to his community and numerous charitable donations. Judge Flanagan rejected CRAFT’s motion for a downward variance to probation and imposed a sentence with the guideline range.
Mr. Holding commented, “Those who serve in public office are not exempt from the laws of this country. Therefore, this office will not turn a blind eye to these individuals, we will prosecute them just as vigorously as any other individual who breaks the law.”
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division. This case is being handled by the Office’s Economic Crimes Section, with Assistant United States Attorney David Bragdon assigned as prosecutor.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.