Kris Crawford Got Lucky
Do you hate accountants?
S.C. Rep. Kris Crawford does …
In fact, Crawford’s contention from the beginning of his tax tardiness trial has been that his accountant screwed him over. That defense apparently resonated with one of Crawford’s jurors, too. In fact, it was this juror’s abiding disdain of accountants that kept her from going along with the rest of the jury in finding Crawford “guilty.’
That’s right … the vote was 11 to 1 against the Florence Republican.
For those of you unfamiliar with this case, Crawford is being prosecuted under a “catch-all” section of the S.C. revenue code, which grants wide latitude to those enforcing state tax law. In fact, here’s the specific wording of the statute:
A person required under any provision of law administered by the department and who wilfully fails to pay any estimated tax or tax, or who is required by any provision of law or by any regulation and who wilfully fails to make a return, keep records, or supply information, at the time or times required by law or regulation, in addition to other penalties provided by law, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, together with the cost of prosecution.
Pretty broad, isn’t it? Almost like it could be applied to anyone …
FITS broke the story of Crawford’s tax troubles a year ago – although we (correctly) framed the story within the context of selective enforcement of this statute. As we said at the time, we believe that Crawford was targeted for arrest, indictment and prosecution for one simple reason – the fact that he has been rumored as a possible primary challenger to S.C. Senator Hugh Leatherman in 2012.
Crawford’s tax troubles have also provided more than a few headaches for S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, an “accountant” who has a history of tax issues herself …
Over the last six years, Haley’s family business was penalized three times for failing to pay its corporate income taxes on time (and failing to turn over taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks). The business – which has since closed its doors – was also fined for late payment of property taxes. On top of that, Haley and her husband have also repeatedly failed to pay their income taxes on time – and were late paying their property taxes on more than one occasion.
Earlier this year, Haley and her husband paid their property taxes shortly after a FITS article revealed that they had once again missed a deadline.
No word yet on whether S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson will attempt to try Crawford again, although FITS has left multiple messages with Wilson’s office today in an effort to find out their current position regarding the trial.