A Texas man who launched an aggressive campaign to prevent former President Donald Trump from appearing on the ballot in 2024 has been arrested on tax fraud charges.
John Anthony Castro, who himself is running for president as a Republican, asked the Supreme Court last year to disqualify Trump, citing the 14th Amendment.
Castro’s argument — that Trump is ineligible under the constitutional provision barring those who have “engaged in insurrection” from holding office — is similar to those made by public officials in Colorado and Maine in recent weeks in their attempts to kick Trump off the 2024 ballot.
Castro’s suits have been thrown out in Florida, New Hampshire and Nevada. Others are currently languishing in court.
According to The Hill, Castro was arrested Tuesday and indicted on federal charges related to an online tax business in which he helped people increase their refunds by allegedly lying to the IRS.
Castro is accused of filing 17 sets of false tax documents between 2018 and 2020, resulting in 33 counts of aiding the preparation of false tax returns.
In court documents, prosecutors laid out how Castro allegedly used his business to defraud the government.
“Castro would promise a significantly higher refund than taxpayers could receive from other preparers and on many occasions, offered to split the additional refund with taxpayers,” the court documents said.
“In order to achieve these larger refunds, Castro generated false deductions, that were not based in fact, and which were submitted without the taxpayer’s knowledge.”
According to prosecutors, Castro was busted by an undercover police officer posing as a customer.
“While a reputable tax preparer promised the undercover agent a $373 tax return, Castro instead claimed he could get $6,007, and offered to split the difference in extra cash,” The Hill reported.
Castro allegedly claimed $30,000 worth of fraudulent deductions to secure the larger refund.
In comments to The Hill, Castro said he is being targeted over his efforts to remove Trump from the ballot. He said there is “no question” the case against him is politically motivated.
Castro also claimed that he had paid back about $700,000 to resolve the matter with the IRS.
“I don’t care if they offered me one day probation and a slap on the wrist in exchange for a guilty plea,” he said. “This is going to trial. I am going to convince all 12 jurors that I am 100 percent innocent and that this is political retaliation.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.