Former Lincoln attorney is sentenced to prison again

Craig Hoffman

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — A former Lincoln lawyer brought down by his legal troubles is going back to prison.

Craig Hoffman, 46, was sentenced in federal court on Monday for willful failure to pay over employment taxes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

He will spend two years in prison. U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard also ordered Hoffman to pay $325,197.90 in restitution.

From 2011 to 2017, Hoffman owned his own law firm, where he was the sole employee.

But he failed to send the government the income, Medicare and Social Security taxes that were required to be withheld from his paycheck.

In October 2013, the IRS notified Hoffman that it would file levies to collect the taxes due.

After that, he began moving money from his law firm accounts to his personal bank account.

That was so he could receive the money before the IRS put a levy on it, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

In total, he failed to pay more than $240,000 in payroll taxes. His restitution includes interest and penalties.

Hoffman’s downfall began in 2019, when he was arrested on accused of stealing settlement money from his clients.

He was convicted, sentenced to prison and disbarred.

He was released on parole in August 2021, according to the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.

“As an Attorney, Mr. Hoffman was not above the law,” Thomas F. Murdock, an IRS law enforcement official, said in a press release. “Investigating and prosecuting any business owner who intentionally fails to pay their employment tax obligations is a priority for IRS-Criminal Investigation. (The) sentencing is a reflection of just how serious the courts view these crimes, and Mr. Hoffman is now a convicted felon with a prison term to serve.”

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