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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Arkansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 18, 2015

Former Little Rock Tax Preparer Sentenced To 46 Months For Preparation Of Fraudulent Tax Returns

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 that United States District Judge Kristine G. Baker sentenced former Little Rock tax preparer Christopher T. Craig, age 48, to 46 months in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release. Craig was also ordered to pay $1,092,177.79 in restitution to the IRS.

On August 25, 2014, Craig pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent income tax returns. According to court documents, Craig, in his capacity as a paid return preparer, prepared false employment tax returns on behalf of other taxpayers for tax years 2010 and 2011. Unknown to the taxpayers, Craig filed the returns in a way that reduced the amount of taxes owed to the IRS by the taxpayers. Craig collected tax payments from the taxpayers for the correct amount of taxes and diverted to himself the difference between the correct amount owed and the amount paid to the IRS. As a result of Craig’s fraudulent conduct, which affected more than 50 victims, the total loss to the government was $1,092,177.79.

“Tax violations have been erroneously referred to as victimless crimes, but it’s the honest law-abiding citizen who is harmed when someone tries to manipulate our nation’s tax system,” Henry said. “The courts have overwhelmingly and consistently shown that you will be held accountable for such actions, and today’s sentencing is a costly reminder.”

This investigation was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation.

Updated July 14, 2015