GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Kentwood resident Gregory Claxton, pled guilty in the courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Judge Ray Kent to willfully evading the payment of $148,779 in federal income taxes for the calendar years 2006 through 2012.
The indictment alleged he hid his assets from the IRS by placing money and property in the names of others. Claxton faces up to five years in prison, up to $250,000 in fines and must pay over $200,000 in restitution, counting interest.
According to court records, Claxton was a certified public account until approximately 2000 and still operates a business in which he prepares tax returns for his clients. Claxton admitted he intentionally deposited the proceeds of his tax preparation business into bank accounts in the name of his wife to avoid the appearance of having the ability to pay his income taxes. Claxton also admitted that, just two days prior to meeting with the IRS to discuss his ability to pay his outstanding tax bill, he transferred the deed of his house to a trust in his wife’s name in an effort to thwart IRS collection efforts.
“With the tax filing season quickly approaching, it is important for people to have confidence that when they pay their taxes, they know their neighbors, co-workers and tax return preparers are doing the same,” said Jarod J. Koopman, Special Agent in Charge, IRS – Criminal Investigation.