An Atlantic City man was sentenced to 6½ years in federal prison for running a $2.5 million “mortgage recovery” tax scam.
Kenneth Crawford Jr. will have to serve just about all of the sentence because there’s no parole in the federal prison system.
The judge also ordered him to serve three years of supervised release and pay $1,393,511 in restitution to the United States.
Crawford led a ring that obtained refunds from the IRS for clients who were facing foreclosure or behind on their mortgage payments and weren’t entitled to them, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Crawford and his accomplices told the client that they could “extinguish their outstanding mortgage debts by filing tax forms with the IRS,” Carpenito said.
As part of the scheme, ring members directed clients to file forms that fraudulently claimed that a substantial amount of taxes had already been withheld from them, the U.S. attorney said.
Of the $2.5 million combined refunds sought, the IRS paid more than $1.3 million, he said.
Crawford charged a fee of roughly 25% for each refund, Carpenito said.
When the IRS got wise, he said, Crawford gave his clients false documents to give to the service, told them not to rat him out and urged them to pull money from their bank accounts to keep federal authorities from seizing it.
Jurors in Camden convicted Crawford last December of conspiring to defraud the United States, filing false claims, and obstructing internal revenue laws.
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