Former Little Rock Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty; Scam Cost Government $1.1M

by Gwen Moritz  on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 10:40 am  

Christopher T. Craig, a former Little Rock tax preparer now living in Atlanta, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of helping clients file fraudulent federal income tax returns.

Craig, 47, specifically pleaded guilty to filing two false returns in 2010 and 2012 and diverted to himself a total of $43,280 that the taxpayers believed they were paying to the federal government.  

In his plea agreement with federal prosecutors working for U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer, however, he admitted that he pulled the same scam on other returns, costing the government almost $1.1 million.

"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," Christopher A. Henry, the IRS Criminal Investigation special agent in charge, said in a press release announcing the plea. "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 faces up to three years in prison on each of the two counts and a fine of up to $500,000. A sentencing date has not been set.



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