South Florida towing company owner charged with tax evasion


Date: January 11, 2022


Miami, FL — Federal prosecutors in Ft. Lauderdale have charged an owner of a Lauderdale Lakes towing company with underreporting income and failing to pay federal tax on money he received through a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) kickback scheme and other cash-based fraud.

Craig Goldstein of Boca Raton, Florida was an owner of West Way Towing, a Lauderdale Lakes company that towed, and stored at its yard, disabled vehicles, including ones involved in accidents. According to the information filed today in the Southern District of Florida, Goldstein referred accident victims to certain attorneys and chiropractors who would then illegally charge insurance companies for unneeded services under Florida's Personal Injury Protection Program. Goldstein received a fee for each patient referral, which he collected in cash and failed to report to the IRS, according to the charges. Goldstein also failed to report cash he received from vehicle storage lien fees and from auctions of vehicles the sales prices of which were manipulated to falsely reflect that Goldstein made no profit, says the information. It is alleged that Goldstein owes the U.S. government over $130,000 in income tax.

The information charges Goldstein with three counts of tax evasion. He faces up to 15 years' imprisonment and a fine up to $750,000.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Matthew D. Line, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), made the announcement.

IRS-CI Miami investigated this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey N. Kaplan and Paul Schwartz.

An information is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.