One of former President Donald Trump’s biggest critics could be headed to jail for tax fraud.
On Tuesday, John Anthony Castro was arrested for allegedly committing federal tax fraud. Castro is running for the GOP nomination for president — though he doesn’t attract much attention at all.
What he’s probably most known for is leading the cause to have Trump removed from election ballots, citing the insurrection clause in the 14th Amendment.
On Monday, in fact, a Nevada federal judge threw out a lawsuit filed by Castro that sought to ban Trump from appearing on presidential ballots there.
Castro, who is from Texas and is 40 years old, was indicted on 33 different counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent return.
The indictment was filed January 3 under seal, accounting to court records that Fox News reviewed.
According to prosecutors in the case, Castro participated in a long pattern of creating and then submitting false tax returns on behalf of multiple taxpayers who were unaware of what he was doing as their tax preparer.
As a result of his actions, there were many claims that were paid out improperly, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Castro was arrested on Tuesday and then released the same day following an initial court appearance.
Ina statement, Leigha Simonton, a U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, said:
“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.”
The special agent in charge of the Newark field office, Tammy Tomlins, also 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.”
In a recent phone interview with The New York Times, Castroy said he thinks the indictment against him was motivated by politics, and was done to try to disrupt the lawsuits he has filed against Trump’s eligibility to run for office.
“They sat on it for three years to see if I would stop being a problem, politically, and go away, and I didn’t.”
He added that his tax firm settled the matter of the tax returns with the IRS back in 2021. He also said that some of his clients ended up misinterpreting tax law, which is why the mistakes happened.
On Monday, a district court judge in Nevada ruled that Castro didn’t have standing in the lawsuit that he filed that sought to prevent Trump running for office. The judge in that case, Gloria Navarro, ended up dismissing that lawsuit.
She said Castro didn’t demonstrate that he “suffered a concrete, particularized and actual or imminent injury” because of the conduct the former president took on January 6, 2021. As a result, the court didn’t have any jurisdiction on such a “politically charged question of significant interest to the American public.”