GOP Member Indicted for Tax Fraud After Attempting to Bar Trump from Ballots Based on 14th Amendment

The individual who initiated the effort to remove Donald Trump’s name from the 2024 ballots is now under arrest on federal tax fraud charges. John Anthony Castro, a lesser-known GOP presidential candidate, faces a 33-count indictment for allegedly submitting fraudulent tax returns.

Despite his attempt to challenge Trump’s eligibility based on the 14th Amendment, five state courts dismissed the suits, citing “lack of standing.” Recently, both the Colorado State Supreme Court and Maine’s Attorney General declared Trump ineligible. Colorado’s GOP leaders have appealed, and the U.S.

Supreme Court is set to rule on the case, impacting 16 similar ongoing cases. In support of Trump, 27 state Attorneys General filed an amicus brief arguing that his actions on January 6, 2021, were protected under the 1st and 12th Amendments, and he did not violate the 14th Amendment.

On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton of the Northern District of Texas announced that John Anthony Castro, residing in Mansfield, Texas, faced 33 counts of tax fraud charges as of January 3. Court records, as reported by Fox News, reveal that Castro, operating a tax preparation business service, is accused of systematically fabricating and submitting false tax returns for numerous unsuspecting taxpayers, resulting in improperly paid claims totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The indictment outlines Castro as the owner and CEO of Castro & Company LLC., a virtual tax preparation business with branches in Orlando, Florida, Mansfield, Texas, and Washington, D.C. Prosecutors contend that starting in 2016, Castro submitted deceptive tax returns on behalf of individuals who were unaware of the falsifications.

Castro allegedly promised significantly higher refunds than other preparers, often proposing to share the extra refund amount with the taxpayers. To achieve these inflated refunds, he is said to have generated false deductions without the taxpayers’ knowledge.

As per Fox News, in 2018, an undercover agent, posing as a taxpayer, reached out to Castro’s company for tax assistance. Allegedly, Castro declined an in-person meeting unless a $5,000 retainer was paid but offered virtual assistance. In a recorded phone conversation, Castro claimed he could project the agent’s likely tax refund from another firm and compare it with what he could secure.

According to the indictment, on March 14 of that year, Castro filed the agent’s tax return with $29,339 in fraudulent deductions, leading to an IRS refund of $6,007. Castro received $2,999 for his services, and the agent received $3,008. Castro had told the agent he would have only received $300 with another tax preparer. Arrested on Tuesday, Castro was released after his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hal R. Ray, Jr.

U.S. Attorney Simonton, a President Biden nominee, said in a statement: “Mr. Castro’s alleged crimes are stunning in their brazenness. The Department of Justice will continue to hold people accountable who steal from the federal government’s – and the American public’s – pockets.”

IRS special agent Tammy Tomlins said: “This is precisely the type of conduct IRS Criminal Investigation and our law enforcement partners are committed to deterring. Today’s indictment sends a clear message, you will be held accountable if you abuse our tax system for your personal financial gain.”

Despite facing charges, Castro maintains his innocence and, in a phone interview with the New York Times, asserts that he views the accusations as politically motivated. He claims that these charges were deliberately delayed for three years, suggesting they were crafted to impede his legal challenges questioning Trump’s eligibility. Castro told the Times, “They sat on it for three years to see if I would stop being a problem, politically, and go away, and I didn’t.”