Local News

Former Greenville councilman sentenced for tax fraud

Posted November 16, 2009 10:10 a.m. EST

— A former Greenville city councilman was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay nearly $200,000 in restitution Monday after pleading guilty to tax fraud.

Charles Ray Craft, who was on the Greenville City Council between 2001 to 2007, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. He paid the full restitution of $192,000 at the sentencing.

Prosecutors said that Craft did not pay taxes on $599,933 he earned through his company, Signs Now, between 2001 and 2004.

As part of the plea deal, Craft had asked to be given probation, citing his community service and charitable donations. Judge Louise W. Flanagan rejected that plea.

"Those who serve in public office are not exempt from the laws of this country," U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding said. "Therefore, this office will not turn a blind eye to these individuals. We will prosecute them just as vigorously as any other individual who breaks the law."

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division.