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Published: Saturday, 12/22/2012

Michigan man pleads guilty to defrauding IRS


A Lambertville man who fraudulently received more than $400,000 from the IRS pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Toledo this week.

William Crawford admitted his role in 13 counts of aiding in preparation of false tax returns, two counts of false tax returns, and four counts of wire fraud. Magistrate Judge Vernelis Armstrong accepted the pleas Wednesday.

According to court documents, Crawford would create fraudulent tax returns for friends and family. Authorities said that Crawford would file false information on the forms and split the electronic refunds so the taxpayer would receive what they were expecting and Crawford would receive the rest.

The fraudulent returns sought refunds of about $689,000. The IRS actually paid out $407,000, court documents state. Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and the remaining counts each carry a penalty of up to three years in prison.

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