Former City Councilman E.W. Cromartie pleaded guilty this morning to one count of tax evasion and two counts of structuring payments to avoid federal reporting requirements in U.S. District Court in Columbia.
Prosecutors said Cromartie failed to pay his 2004 income taxes after repeated notices and phone calls. They began investigating his taxes and discovered that he was not paying employment taxes on his law firm or liquor store.
As the investigation continued, they discovered he was dividing up payments from his law firm?s escrow account to avoid a federal requirement to report single deposits of more than $10,000.
In one instance, Cromartie wrote seven checks, all dated the same day, and deposited them at a Wachovia Bank. He told investigators he was trying to save the bank paperwork.
He also transferred his private residence ownership to an LLC in the middle of the investigation, prosecutors said.