It turns out that the common thread among the numerous court challenges seeking to remove President Trump from the ballot in various states is that they are all filed by the same individual — John Anthony Castro.
🔴BREAKING: John Anthony Castro who has been filing lawsuits in every state to get Donald Trump removed from the ballot has been arrested & charged with filing 17 sets of false tax documents to the IRS. pic.twitter.com/kLYdKFOxng— Mary Frost (@Mary_frostt) January 10, 2024
Last year, John Anthony Castro, a Republican presidential candidate, petitioned the Supreme Court to disqualify Trump based on the 14th Amendment. Following the court’s refusal to hear the case, Castro expanded his campaign across various states, filing more than two dozen challenges against Trump’s eligibility, as reported by The Hill.
Castro’s argument, asserting that Trump is ineligible for office due to a constitutional clause barring those who have been “involved in an insurrection,” mirrors arguments put forth by public officials in Colorado and Maine recently, aiming to prevent Trump from being on the 2024 ballot.
Per the New York Times, Castro has never held a license to practice law in any state.
John Anthony Castro hates President Trump and his supporters. He has been relentless in challenging Trump’s candidacy, invoking the 14th Amendment, falsely alleging Trump’s involvement in the January 6 Capitol protests. The outcomes of his legal endeavors have been varied, with dismissals in states such as Florida, New Hampshire, West Virginia and Nevada, while some are still pending. Certain states, like Maine, are actively deliberating on the matter.
Castro has filed lawsuits in several other states, including:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- South Carolina
As reported by The Hill, Castro has been arrested and charged with federal offenses related to an online tax company. Allegedly, he provided false information to the IRS to help clients get higher returns.
Castro is accused of submitting 17 sets of fraudulent tax filings between 2018 and 2020, resulting in a total of 33 charges related to assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.
In statements to The Hill, Castro absurdly claimed that he is being targeted due to his efforts to remove Trump from the ballot. He confidently stated that there is “no question” that the lawsuit against him is politically motivated.
This statement is laughable as everyone knows the federal government operates on behalf of Joe Biden, not Donald Trump.
Prosecutors have outlined in court filings how Castro used his firm to deceive the government.
From The Hill:
A Texas man who filed over two dozen challenges to former President Trump’s ballot eligibility was arrested Tuesday on charges alleging he filed 17 sets of false tax documents to the IRS.
John Anthony Castro was indicted last week on 33 counts of aiding the preparation of false tax returns. Prosecutors claim he ran a virtual tax preparation business that provided customers with tax returns beyond what they were actually owed, defrauding 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,” prosecutors said in court documents. “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.”
Castro was busted by an undercover police officer, prosecutors outlined, who posed as a customer for his tax services. 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 tax forms Castro then filed on behalf of the undercover officer contained nearly $30,000 in fraudulently claimed deductions, prosecutors said.
Castro is also a 2024 GOP presidential candidate, a long-shot bid that has gained little attention outside his legal challenges to Trump’s ballot eligibility. Castro has filed challenges to Trump’s ballot placement in 27 states, claiming that Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots violates the 14th Amendment.
He was indicted on the same day that his ballot challenge in New Hampshire was dismissed. His attempts have also been thrown out in Florida and most recently in Nevada on Tuesday. While multiple of the suits remain pending, none have gained significant traction.
Read the press release from the United States attorney’s office:
A Mansfield man has been charged with 33-counts of filing fraudulent tax returns, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.
John Anthony Castro, 40, was indicted on thirty-three counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent return. He made his initial appearance Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hal R. Ray, Jr.
“Mr. Castro’s alleged crimes are stunning in their brazenness,” said U.S. Attorney Simonton. “The Department of Justice will continue to hold people accountable who steal from the federal government’s—and the American public’s—pockets.”
“This is precisely the type of conduct IRS Criminal Investigation and our law enforcement partners are committed to deterring,” said Tammy Tomlins, Special Agent in Charge of the Newark Field Office. “Today’s indictment sends a clear message, you will be held accountable, if you abuse our tax system for your personal financial gain.”
According to the indictment, Mr. Castro owned and operated Castro & Company LLC. a virtual tax preparation business with locations in Orlando, Florida, Mansfield, Texas, and Washington, D.C. Starting in 2016, Mr. Castro devised a scheme to falsely create and submit false tax returns on behalf of unsuspecting taxpayers. Taxpayers would seek out Castro’s assistance in filing personal tax returns and Mr. Castro would promise a significantly higher refund than taxpayers could receive from other prepares and on many occasions offered to split the additional refund with taxpayers. In order to achieve these larger refunds, Mr. Castro generated false deductions without the taxpayer’s knowledge.
In 2018, an undercover agent, posing as a taxpayer, contacted Castro & Company, LLC for assistance. Castro refused to meet in person unless a $5,000 retainer was paid but offered to assist the undercover agent virtually. During a recorded telephone conversation, Mr. Castro stated that he could project the amount of the tax refund the undercover agent would likely receive from another firm and then compare that figure with the refund that Mr. Castro would obtain.
According to the indictment, an employee of Mr. Castro’s interviewed the agent over the telephone regarding deductions. The employee stated that Mr. Castro would make any decisions regarding what items would be included on the tax filing. The employee did not identify any deductions that would apply to the agent and in the course of the interview, the undercover agent denied any facts that would support deductions. On March 14, 2018, Mr. Castro filed the agent’s tax return claiming $29,339 in fraudulent deductions. The IRS issued a refund of $6,007, Mr. Castro received $2,999 for his services and the agent received the remaining amount of $3,008. As Castro told the taxpayer, he would have received only a $300 deduction had he used another tax preparer.
Mr. Castro continued in a similar pattern with dozens of other taxpayers, resulting in hundreds of thousands of improperly paid claims.
An indictment is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. Mr. Castro is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 99 years in federal prison – 3 years per count.
The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney P.J. Meitl is prosecuting the case.