Editor’s Note: The following information was provided by the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Northern District of Ohio in a Feb. 13 press release.
A federal grand jury returned a 31-count indictment charging a Brian D. Krantz, 45, of Twinsburg, with crimes related to filing income tax refunds totaling more than $8.8 million, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Darryl Williams, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge.
Krantz was indicted Feb. 13 on one count of conspiring to make false claims against the United States and 30 counts of making false claims for income tax refunds totaling approximately $8,825,147, according to the indictment.
The U.S. Treasury issued 17 refund checks totaling approximately $3,615,586 payable to Krantz and various corporations controlled by Krantz as a result of the alleged scheme, according to the indictment.
“This defendant is accused of violating tax laws to enrich himself,” Dettelbach said in a Feb. 13 release from the U.S. Attorneys Office in Cleveland. “Those individuals who engage in this type of financial fraud should know they will not go undetected and will be brought to justice.”
An attorney for Krantz was not immediately known.
“Today’s indictment proves that stealing from the government is a serious crime,” Williams said. “It sends an important message to America’s taxpayers who play by the rules that we have no tolerance for those who make up their own rules.”
The indictment names Bryan D. McCallum as Krantz’s co-conspirator. McCallum previously pleaded guilty to a two-count information charging him with the false claims conspiracy and with making the same 30 allegedly false claims.
During the years charged in the indictment, Krantz reportedly owned and controlled two corporations engaged in financial services and/or real estate investment business activities, in which he employed McCallum as an accountant.
The indictment charges that from approximately April 2009 through June 8, 2010, Krantz and McCallum conspired to make false claims for tax refunds using income tax returns filed with the IRS in the names of Krantz, companies formed by Krantz and McCallum, and several “shelf” companies purchased by Krantz. A “shelf” company is a corporate or other formal non-operating business entity established for the purpose of being held for sale to another person.
According to the indictment, Krantz used more than $1 million of the refund proceeds to finance a real estate venture he established with other partners, known as Phoenix Ventures Partners LLC. Krantz and McCallum allegedly misled Krantz’s real estate partners to believe that a group of Colorada-based hard money lenders had provided the funds.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John M. Siegel and Justin J. Roberts, following an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.
— Compiled by Editor Andrew Schunk