Cleveland fair-housing advocate facing tax counts

CLEVELAND (AP) — A fair-housing advocate in Cleveland has been charged with tax fraud for allegedly trying to avoid taxes on $500,000 in income and keeping $80,000 in federal taxes withheld from employees.

U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach (DEHT’-ehl-bahk) said 62-year-old Edward Kramer was charged Wednesday with 10 counts in a court filing which usually signals a pending plea deal.

Kramer directs Housing Advocates Inc., a non-profit that fights housing discrimination.

The government alleges Kramer underreported income in 2007 and 2008, failed to file returns for 2009 and 2010 and kept employee tax withholdings over a 21-month period in 2009 and 2010.

Defense attorney Patrick McLaughlin wouldn’t comment on the charges or a possible plea deal. He says Kramer has spent a career fighting housing discrimination, regrets his current situation and will take responsibility.

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