Atlantic City man convicted in tax fraud scheme
An Atlantic City man used a tax fraud scheme to clients and illegally get more than $1.3 million from the IRS, a federal jury in Camden found. Kenneth Crawford Jr. was convicted of conspiring to defraud the United States, filing false claims and obstructing the internal revenue laws, acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart Goldberg said. Crawford and his co-conspirators sold a mortgage recovery service that was promoted to those facing foreclosure or who were behind in their mortgage payments. But instead, they had clients fraudulently claim that a substantial amount of taxes had already been withheld from them, according to the evidence presented at trial. More than $2.5 million in refunds were sought with the IRS paying out more than $1.3 million. Crawford charged his clients about 25 percent of the refund obtained. When the IRS discovered the fraud and tried to get back the refunds, Crawford gave clients false and fraudulent documents to send to the IRS, directed clients to conceal his role in filing the forms, and advised clients to remove funds from bank accounts in their names in order to thwart IRS collection efforts. Crawford is currently detained for violating the conditions of his pretrial release, Goldberg said. He faces five years each for the conspiracy and false claim counts, and three years for obstructing the IRS laws. Crawford’s sentencing is scheduled for March 20.