SALT LAKE CITY— A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City returned an indictment, unsealed today, charging a Utah man with tax evasion, obstructing the IRS and forcibly retaking property that had been seized by the government to pay his outstanding tax debt.
According to the indictment, Paul Kenneth Cromar owned a home in Cedar Hills, Utah, and operated Blue Moon Productions, LLC, a freelance film and media production company. From 1999 through 2005, Cromar allegedly did not file any federal income tax returns or pay any tax and in 2005, the IRS conducted an audit and assessed him with $703,266.96 in taxes, interest and penalties. After Cromar allegedly failed to make any payments towards his outstanding debt, a federal judge ordered that his home be sold at auction to satisfy his tax obligations. The indictment alleges that Cromar then attempted to stop the sale by filing bogus documents, including a false promissory note, with the IRS, intimidating potential purchasers or investors of the home and attempted to harass IRS personnel by filing frivolous lawsuits against them personally.
The indictment further charges that shortly before the sale closed, Cromar allegedly broke into the home and attempted to reclaim it. With the help of others, he allegedly occupied the home unlawfully for several months, fortifying it with weapons, sandbags and wooden boards tactically placed throughout the house.
Through his criminal conduct, Cromar is alleged to have caused a total tax loss to the IRS of $1,174,201.91.
If convicted, Cromar faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for tax evasion, three years in prison for corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the IRS and two years in prison for forcibly retaking seized property. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins for the District of Utah made the announcement.
IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) are investigating the case. The FBI assisted in locating and apprehending Cromar, who had been a fugitive from justice in a related Utah state court criminal matter since August 2022.
Trial Attorneys Peter J. Anthony and Meredith M. Havekost of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Woolf for the District of Utah are prosecuting the case.