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Press Release

Former Utah Movie Producer Found Guilty of Tax Crimes

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Defendant Did Not Pay Over $1 Million in Taxes

A federal jury convicted a Utah man yesterday of tax evasion and forcibly retaking property that had been seized by the government to pay his outstanding tax debt. 

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Paul Kenneth Cromar owned a home in Cedar Hills, Utah, and operated Blue Moon Productions LLC, a freelance film and media production company. From 1999 through 2005, Cromar did not file any federal income tax returns or pay any tax. In 2007, the IRS conducted an audit and assessed him with $703,266.96 in taxes, interest and penalties. After Cromar failed to make any payments towards his outstanding debt, the government filed a civil suit in federal court to foreclose on his home to satisfy his outstanding tax debt.

After several court proceedings in which Cromar participated, a federal judge ordered that his home be sold at auction and the proceeds used to pay off some of the taxes he owed. Cromar then attempted to stop the sale by filing bogus documents on the property’s title and with the IRS, intimidating potential purchasers or investors for the home and harassing IRS personnel by filing frivolous lawsuits against them personally.   

Shortly before the court-ordered sale closed, Cromar forcibly broke into the home and attempted to reclaim it. With the help of others, he occupied the home unlawfully for five months, fortifying it with weapons, sandbags and wooden boards tactically placed throughout the house. 

Through his criminal conduct, Cromar caused a total tax loss to the IRS of $1,174,201.91.

The jury convicted Cromar of one count of tax evasion and one count of forcibly rescuing seized property. He was acquitted of attempting to interfere with the administration of internal revenue laws.

Cromar is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for tax evasion and two years in prison for forcibly retaking seized property. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins for the District of Utah and Acting Special Agent in Charge Carissa Messick of the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI)’s Phoenix Field Office made the announcement.

IRS-CI and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration investigated the case. The FBI assisted in locating and apprehending Cromar who had been a fugitive from justice in a related Utah state court criminal matter since August 2022.

Trial Attorneys Meredith Havekost and Patrick Burns of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Woolf for the District of Utah are prosecuting the case.

Updated June 5, 2024

Topic
Tax
Component
Press Release Number: 24-704