A Texas man has been jailed on tax fraud charges after launching an aggressive campaign to keep former President Donald Trump off the ballot in 2024.
Last year, John Anthony Castro, a Republican candidate for president, urged the Supreme Court to disqualify Trump using the 14th Amendment.
After the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, Castro moved his campaign to states throughout the nation, submitting over two dozen challenges against Trump’s eligibility, according to The Hill.
Castro’s argument, that Trump is unqualified to take office due to a constitutional clause prohibiting anyone who have “engaged in insurrection” from doing so, is similar to arguments made by public officials in Colorado and Maine in recent weeks in their efforts to keep Trump off the ballot in 2024.
Castro’s lawsuits were dismissed in Florida, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Others are now awaiting trial.
According to The Hill, Castro was arrested and charged on federal charges linked to an online tax company in which he allegedly lied to the IRS to assist clients raise their returns.
Castro is accused of submitting 17 sets of fraudulent tax filings between 2018 and 2020, totaling 33 charges of assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.
Prosecutors detailed how Castro allegedly exploited his firm to cheat the government in court filings.
“Castro would promise a significantly higher refund than taxpayers could receive from other preparers and on many occasions, offered to split the additional refund with taxpayers,” the court documents said.
“In order to achieve these larger refunds, Castro generated false deductions, that were not based in fact, and which were submitted without the taxpayer’s knowledge.”
Prosecutors claim Castro was apprehended by an undercover cop acting as a client.
“While a reputable tax preparer promised the undercover agent a $373 tax return, Castro instead claimed he could get $6,007, and offered to split the difference in extra cash,” The Hill reported.
Castro reportedly claimed $30,000 in bogus deductions in order to get a higher return.
Castro told The Hill that he is being targeted because of his attempts to remove Trump off the ballot. He said that there is “no question” that the lawsuit against him is politically motivated.
Castro further stated that he had paid the IRS $700,000 to settle the dispute.
“I don’t care if they offered me one day probation and a slap on the wrist in exchange for a guilty plea,” he said. “This is going to trial. I am going to convince all 12 jurors that I am 100 percent innocent and that this is political retaliation.”
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