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Thursday, July 29, 2004

Is there a tax protestor crazier than Austin Gary Cooper? Well, yeah, but he's still pretty crazy.  Here is his latest exploit.

DENVER -- A judge imposed $1,000-a-day fines and threatened to jail a Fort Collins couple Wednesday unless they stop offering to sell material purporting to explain how to legally evade federal income taxes. Austin Gary Cooper and Martha E. Cooper ignored a November order to stop offering the material and failed to attend a hearing on Friday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Babcock said. Babcock said the fines would increase to $5,000 a day after 11 days, and if they reach $50,000, the couple could be jailed. Martha Cooper said Wednesday she and her husband have not complied with the orders because they do not recognize the judge's authority. Babcock had ordered the couple to turn over names of customers, to remove materials "designed to incite others" to violate tax laws from their Web sites. The couple's company, Taking Back America, urged people to stop paying federal income taxes and to renounce their "United States citizenship" for "American citizenship." The Justice Department has estimated the couple sold the "expatriation/repatriation" system to as many as 2,000 people nationwide for fees starting at $1,595. The Justice Department accused the couple of helping investors file false forms with their employees to halt the automatic withdrawal of payroll taxes. Customers allegedly received a package of documents to be filed with numerous federal agencies that claimed to allow people to legally avoid paying federal income taxes and seek a refund of taxes already paid. Customers also could pay $2,400 for a course on the organization's philosophy. According to courts papers filed by the Justice Department, the Coopers and TBA used a network of distributors to market their scheme and promoted it on a Web site, at seminars and in periodic telephone conference calls. Austin Cooper was criminally convicted in 1990 of willfully attempting to evade or defeat the payment of federal income tax by failing to file income tax returns, failing to pay income tax, and filing false tax-withholding certificates.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

As we go into the dog days of summer, it looks like the Service is starting to ramp up its activities against promoters.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2004 WWW.USDOJ.GOV TAX (202) 514-2007 TDD (202) 514-1888 JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES TO HALT PREPARATION OF FRAUDULENT TAX RETURNS BY EAST CLEVELAND TAX-RETURN PREPARER Allegedly Frivolous Returns Omit All Wage Income Earned By Preparer=S Customers WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in federal court in Cleveland today to stop author and tax return preparer Michael A. Allamby, of East Cleveland, from preparing federal tax returns for customers. The civil injunction suit also seeks to prevent Allamby from promoting an alleged fraudulent tax scheme under which wages are omitted from taxpayers’ tax returns, and to turn over his customer list to the Justice Department. According to the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Allamby prepares federal income tax returns for Cleveland-area residents that report zero total income and request refunds of all federal income taxes withheld. The suit alleges that Allamby reports zero total income on his customers returns, despite filing the returns with attached W-2 Forms indicating that the customers have received thousands of dollars in wages or salaries. The complaint states that, since January 2000, the IRS has processed hundreds of returns Allamby prepared. "Preparers of frivolous tax returns and their customers face civil and possibly criminal penalties for their actions," said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Tax Division. According to the complaint, Allamby also conducts "training courses" across the country at which he promotes his views and solicits customers for his return-preparation business. Court papers allege that he has conducted ten courses since 2000, including courses in Detroit and New York City within the past year. The complaint alleges that Allamby has also written a book, To the Best of My Knowledge and Belief, in which he encourages readers to file tax returns that omit wages from income. In addition to seeking to enjoin Allamby from preparing future tax returns, the government seeks to halt the seminars and book sales through an injunction against Allamby that bars him from advertising, marketing, or promoting any false, misleading, or deceptive position, including the position that wages are not taxable income. More information about the Justice Department's ongoing efforts to halt the promotion of tax scams can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2004.htm. Information about the Tax Division is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/index.html .
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Thursday, June 24, 2004

Employers keep getting sucked into de-tax schemes, and they keep going to jail. This employer got 15 months for failing to withhold. No employer has ever beaten the IRS on these theories, though they continue to be shamelessly espoused by Bob Schulz's We-The-People scam.



June 14, 2004

PRESS RELEASE
FORMER FRANKLIN BUSINESSMAN SENTENCED FOR TAX OFFENSES

Boston, MA... A former Franklin business owner was sentenced in federal court today in connection with tax offenses involving his failure to account for and pay over to the Internal Revenue Service more than $175,000 in federal income, social security and medicare taxes that he withheld from the paychecks of his employees during the years 1997 to 1999. He was also sentenced for having failed to file individual income tax returns despite earning more than $500,000 in gross income over the same time period.

United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Joseph A. Galasso, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, announced that MICHAEL SCHLEVENICK, age 51, formerly of 1 Franklin Springs Road in Franklin, Massachusetts, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to 1 year and 3 months in prison, to be followed by 2 years of supervised release.

SCHLEVENICK pleaded guilty on March 10, 2004 to a fourteen-count Indictment charging him with failure to account for, and pay, withholding taxes, and failure to file individual returns.

At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that, had the case proceeded to trial, the evidence would have proven that SCHLEVENICK owned a Franklin-based business named Coastal Marketing, Inc. ("Coastal"). SCHLEVENICK prepared and issued paychecks to Coastal's employees from which he deducted state and federal income taxes and social security and medicare taxes. During the years 1997, 1998 and 1999, SCHLEVENICK withheld more than $175,000 in federal taxes from his employees' paychecks, yet willfully failed to report or pay over those taxes to the IRS.

As stated at the plea hearing, the evidence further would have shown that over the same time period, SCHLEVENICK personally received more than $500,000 in gross income, but did not timely report or pay taxes on any of it.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Pineault in Sullivan's Economic Crimes Unit.

Press Contact: Samantha Martin, (617) 748-3139

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Another day, another bad day for tax protestors, this time for Stephen Swan, an Irwin Schiff acolyte from New Hampshire who was sentenced to federal prison for 9 years for drinking Irwin's koolaid. Will Schiff still claim that his methods of foolproof? Of course, since to claim otherwise would kill his book and kit sales. Even Swan figured out that Schiff was just a scam artist, but too late to do himself any good.


MEDIA RELEASE Contact: Thomas P. Colantuono

For Immediate Release United States Attorney

June 24, 2004 William E. Morse

Assistant U.S. Attorney

James W. Chapman, Jr.

Trial Attorney, Tax Division

U.S. Department of Justice

(603) 225-1552





TAX RETURN PREPARER SENTENCED TO NINE YEARS

FOR PREPARING FALSE RETURNS





CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE - The United States Attorney for the District of New Hampshire, Tom Colantuono, and Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division, U.S. Department of Justice announced that today Steven A. Swan, fifty-one, of Manchester, New Hampshire, was sentenced to 9 years in federal prison for a variety of tax offenses related to his tax return preparation business.



On February 12, 2004, after a six day jury trial, Swan was convicted of fifteen counts of preparing false tax returns and amended returns for others, two counts of preparing false amended tax returns for himself and one count of corruptly impeding the administration of the federal tax laws. During the period in which the crimes were committed, Swan resided in Auburn, New Hampshire.



Swan was sentenced by U.S. District Chief Judge Paul J. Barbadoro, who presided over Swan's trial. Judge Barbadoro increased Swan's sentence on the grounds that Swan obstructed justice by testifying falsely at trial. Judge Barbadoro also increased Swan's sentence, because the evidence at trial showed that Swan filed frivolous lawsuits against, threatened and sought the baseless criminal prosecution of IRS employees and other government officials who lawfully tried to assess and collect taxes from him. Under federal law, Swan will not be eligible for parole.



According to the evidence at trial, during the period 1997 through 2002, Swan prepared hundreds of so-called "zero-income" tax returns for customers of his tax return preparation business. On those returns, Swan reported that the customers did not have any income even though he knew that his customers had received substantial wages, salaries and other compensation. The evidence at trial further showed that, in 1997, Swan filed two amended returns for himself falsely reporting that he had no income for tax years 1993 and 1994. Those amended returns sought refunds of taxes Swan had paid previously for those years. Finally, the evidence showed that, after the Internal Revenue Service initiated collection efforts against him, Swan obstructed the administration of the tax laws through a continuing campaign to harass and intimidate the IRS, its employees and third parties lawfully complying with IRS collection requests.



At trial, Swan testified in his own defense that he was a former disciple of notorious tax protestor, Irwin Schiff. He further testified that, based upon Schiff's teachings and his own research, he sincerely believed that there was no law making anyone liable for the federal income tax. Swan also claimed that he believed that the federal income tax was unconstitutional, a claim which the Court had already ruled did not constitute a defense to the crimes charged. The government's evidence established that Swan was fully aware of his legal obligation to file accurate tax returns and pay taxes that were due.



The evidence established that Swan prepared more than 200 tax returns for others, making false claims for refunds in excess of $1 million dollars and generating a tax loss of approximately $3.2 million. Swan promoted his tax return preparation business by holding seminars entitled, "How Anyone Can LEGALLY Stop Paying Income Taxes" at hotels in Manchester between 1997 and 2002. Swan advertised these seminars in numerous local and regional newspapers. The evidence further demonstrated that Swan encouraged others to file Forms W-4 falsely claiming exempt status to stop the withholding of income taxes. Finally, the evidence showed that Swan initiated numerous frivolous lawsuits and sought the baseless criminal prosecution of IRS collection employees and banks, title companies, and even a recorder of deeds for complying with lawful IRS liens and levies.



United States Attorney Colantuono stated: "Today's sentence is a great one for all tax compliant residents of New Hampshire. All citizens must pay their fair share of the costs of the freedom and privileges of living in this country. The substantial sentence imposed in this case should serve as a clear warning to those attracted by tax protestors' false claim that there is no legal requirement to pay federal income taxes."



Joseph Galasso, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS's Criminal Investigation Division in Boston stated: "Today's sentencing sends a clear message to those who believe that there is no legal requirement to pay federal income taxes. The IRS will aggressively pursue and prosecute those who do not follow the law that requires taxpayers to accurately report and timely pay any tax due."



The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Morse and Jim Chapman, a Trial Attorney with the Department of Justice.



For more information about illegal tax schemes, taxpayers should go to www.irs.gov, and use the keyword, "TAX FRAUD."

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Sunday, June 13, 2004

For years, tax protestors pointed to the existence of Judge John Rizzo, who would attend various tax protestor events and opine that the income tax was unconstitutional. The good judge was most active in helping sell memberships in Global Prosperity Group -- the leaders of which have been recently indicted. Indeed, it is speculated that the good judge's plea agreement, described below, is in exchange for his agreeing to help prosecute the GPG scammers. Oh, and John Rizzo never went to law school, and never was a real judge. Instead, he was simply a small claim justice in some small town in Arizona.

SELLERS OF BOGUS TAX ADVICE PROGRAM
PLEAD GUILTY TO TAX CHARGES

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two Arizona residents pled guilty today to charges
they failed to report income earned from a widely marketed tax seminar
program, Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division Eileen J. O'Connor, U.S.
Attorney for the District of Arizona Paul K. Charlton and Internal Revenue
Service Criminal Investigation Chief Nancy J. Jardini announced.

John J. Rizzo and wife Carol A. Rizzo pled guilty to felony charges of
conspiracy and to charges of willfully failing to file their income tax
return. Rizzo also pled guilty to felony charges of willfully aiding and

assisting in the preparation of a false income tax return and perjury
before the grand jury.

"Unscrupulous tax scam promoters aggressively market a variety of fanciful
schemes purporting to eliminate tax liability," said Assistant Attorney
General O'Connor. "People who promote or participate in such schemes are
risking serious civil penalties, and when appropriate, criminal prosecution."

The defendants admitted, in their plea agreements that from 1999 to 2001,
Mr. Rizzo was a prominent vendor with the Institute of Global Prosperity
(IGP). At seminars hosted by IGP, Mr. Rizzo promoted the Millennium 2000

Reliance Defense Program (M2K) package to thousands of people at offshore seminars and resulted in more than $4 million in sales. At an earlier court hearing, as reflected in a videotape made available to the court, Mr. Rizzo appeared at these seminars wearing judicial robes and portrayed himself as a judge and an expert on tax law.

The Rizzos also admitted Mr. Rizzo sold each M2K package for
approximately
$2,300.00. Additionally, they admitted they provided materials and
documentation that purported to prove, among other things, that one
could
lawfully stop filing income tax returns and cease having income taxes
withheld from personal wages based upon the long-rejected notion that
the
Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution had not been legally ratified.

They further admitted they concealed the income earned from the sales of
M2K
packages during the period 1999 through 2002, by using a variety of
dishonest and deceitful means, including the use of offshore bank
accounts
and third-party merchant accounts to conduct credit card sales. The
Rizzos
have been in pre-trial detention for the past ten (10) months.

In December 2003, Cheryl Cully, a co-defendant in the case, pled guilty
to a
felony charge of obstruction of justice and a charge of willfully
failing to
file her 2001 income tax return. Ms. Cully faces maximum potential
sentences
totaling six (6) years' imprisonment, fines totaling $500,000 and
liability
for the costs of prosecution. Ms. Cully is scheduled to be sentenced
before
Judge Silver on March 29, 2004.

"The IRS continues to aggressively enforce tax laws in order to ensure a

strong American economy and that all taxpayers pay their taxes," said
Nancy
Jardini. "These defendants used a myriad of arguments and abusive
financial
arrangements to evade taxes. In this case, unlawful offshore banking
used
for the purpose of evading the payment of taxes has been unmasked by the

financial investigative efforts of IRS special agents."

Rizzo faces a maximum potential sentence of fourteen years in prison,
ten
years of supervised release, fines totaling $1,000,000, as well as
liability
for the costs of prosecution. Mrs. Rizzo faces a maximum potential
sentence
of six years in prison, fines totaling $500,000 and liability for the
costs
of prosecution. Judge Roslyn O. Silver of the U.S. District Court for
the
District of Arizona has scheduled sentencing for September 27, 2004.

Assistant Attorney General O'Connor thanked Tax Division trial attorneys

Edward Groves, Larry Wszalek and Mark Odulio for prosecuting the case.
She
also thanked the special agents of the Internal Revenue Service whose
assistance was essential to the successful investigation and prosecution
of
the case.

More information about the Justice Department's Tax Division can be
found at
.




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Monday, June 07, 2004

In case you've missed it, one of the quickest ways to go to jail is to try to use Pure Trusts to avoid taxes. Just ask Mark Poseley of "Innovative Financial Consultants" who will probably do about a six-year stint for his selling of Pure Trusts.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JUNE 7, 2004
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
TAX
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

PROMOTER OF SHAM TRUSTS PLEADS GUILTY
TO TAX FRAUD CHARGES IN ARIZONA

Defendant Sold Tax Schemes Through “Innovative Financial Consultants”

WASHINGTON D.C. - Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division, Department of Justice; Paul K. Charlton, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona; and Nancy Jardini, Chief, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, announced today that at the federal courthouse in Phoenix, Arizona, before U.S. District Judge Mary H. Murguia, Mark D. Poseley pled guilty to a felony charge of conspiracy (18 U.S.C. §371) to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for his role in marketing bogus trusts through an organization known as Innovative Financial Consultants (IFC). Mr. Poseley also pled guilty to a charge of willfully failing to file his 2000 income tax return, despite having earned substantial income from his work with IFC.

On April 4, 2003, Mr. Poseley was indicted - along with Dennis O. Poseley, Patricia Ann Ensign, John F. Poseley, David W. Trepas, Rachel McElhinney, Jeffrey G. Lewis, Keith D. Priest, and Frank C. Williams - for conspiring to defraud the IRS. Mr. Poseley faces a maximum potential sentence of six years in jail, followed by up to four years of supervised release, $500,000 in fines and liability for the costs of prosecution. Judge Murguia scheduled sentencing for September 13, 2004.

“Putting money into a trust does not exempt it from taxation,” said Assistant Attorney General Eileen J. O’Connor. “People who act as though it does risk criminal prosecution and jail. And in the end, they will still owe the taxes, with interest and penalties added.”

“IRS Criminal Investigation has made the investigation of individuals who market or who intentionally buy into abusive tax schemes a national priority. It is a matter of maintaining public confidence in the fairness of the tax laws,” said Nancy Jardini, IRS Chief, Criminal Investigation. “Trusts established to hide the true ownership of assets and income or to disguise financial transactions are considered sham trusts.”

The indictment alleges that from 1995 to 2003, IFC, based in Tempe, Arizona, created and sold over 3,000 bogus “onshore” and “offshore” trust packages by falsely claiming that taxpayers could avoid paying income taxes if they placed their income and assets into such trusts. IFC allegedly sold each onshore trust package for approximately $4,154, and each offshore trust package for approximately $10,500. According to the indictment, IFC enabled its clients to retain control and use of any income and assets they placed into the trusts, while making it more difficult for the IRS to track the true ownership of income and assets.

In his plea agreement, Mr. Poseley admitted he worked as an IFC salesman and sold both onshore and offshore trust packages. He admitted that he falsely represented to taxpayers that they could lawfully avoid paying income taxes by placing their income and assets into trusts, despite remaining as the trusts’ “managing directors.” Mr. Poseley acknowledged he knew the IFC clients, as “managing directors,” retained control over any income and assets they placed into their trusts. He admitted he ignored written publications from the IRS and other sources which directly contradicted the false claims he made. He also admitted that for the year 2000, he earned substantial gross income from the sale of IFC’s trust packages but willfully failed to file an income tax return and report that income to the IRS.

Assistant Attorney General O’Connor thanked Tax Division Trial Attorneys Larry J. Wszalek and Mark T. Odulio, who prosecuted the case. She also thanked the special agents of the Internal Revenue Service, whose assistance was essential to the successful investigation and prosecution of the case.

On December 11, 2003, John F. Poseley pled guilty to the conspiracy charge and is awaiting sentencing. Trial of the remaining defendants is scheduled to begin in August 2004. The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. In the American justice system, a person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty in a court of law.



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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Among the dumbest tax protestor arguments out there is the so-called "861 argument" which wrongly concludes that people who live in the United States are not required to file taxes, and that only foreign persons and corporations are taxpayers. This is the argument put forth by Larken Rose, who legal and constitutional background is derived not from any accredited law school, but rather from his years of transcribing medical records. Still, it sounds good to the tax protestors and they are of course dumb enough to fall for it even though the DOJ is pitching a total shutout against this particular bogus theory.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2004
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
TAX
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

FEDERAL COURT IN WASHINGTON STATE HALTS TAX-SCAM PROMOTION

Tacoma Man Who Promoted False Tax Claims Required To Disclose Names Of Customers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department announced today that a federal court in Seattle has barred Jack Cohen of Tacoma, Washington, from selling his tax fraud schemes. The schemes are based on a discredited argument, repeatedly found frivolous by many courts, called the “U.S. Sources” or “Section 861 argument.” The “argument,” named after the provision of the federal tax code it misinterprets, posits that U.S. citizens are not required to pay taxes on income they receive from sources within the United States.

“Tax-scam promoters cheat not only their customers and the Federal treasury but also all law-abiding taxpayers. Some scams even teach people how to harass their employers and obstruct the administration of the tax system,” said Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “The Department of Justice is working methodically to shut down tax fraud scams of all varieties.”

The court issued an order, called a preliminary injunction, which will remain in effect while the case remains pending. Pursuant to the court’s order, Cohen is barred from selling the Section 861 argument and any other abusive tax schemes. He must post a copy of the injunction on his website and must remove all false statements about the tax laws on the site. The order also requires Cohen send a copy of the court’s order to his customers and requires him to give the Justice Department a list of his customers.

Papers filed in the case show that Cohen, through his “Tax Ax” website, told employers to stop withholding federal income and social security taxes from the wages of their employees, and sold products such as the “W-4 Killer Pack,” which he advertised as “a kit for employees who wish to stop the withholding process.” He also sold the “Tax-Collecting Employer Challenge” for $250, a kit which told employees to send letters to their employers threatening to sue them unless they stopped withholding taxes from their paychecks. More information on this case is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/04_tax_092.htm.

This is the latest in a series of injunctions the Justice Department has obtained in its continuing effort to shut down tax-scam promotions. Information on other recent injunctions entered and suits filed can be found at the Justice Department Tax Division website, http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2004.htm.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Dan Evan's has pointed out that crazy old Irwin Schiff has already appealed to the 9th Circuit, although his criminal case has just started. Why he bothers is anybody's guess, as they have always given him the "thumbs down" before. This time the Vegas money is bettng that crazy old Irwin dies in prison.



Court of Appeals Docket #: 04-72364
Filed: 5/12/04
Nsuit: 0
Schiff, et al v. USDC-NVL
Appeal from: District of Nevada (Las Vegas)

Lower court information:
District: 0978-2 : CR-04-00119-1-LRL
presiding judge: Lawrence R. Leavitt, District Judge


5/12/04 FILED PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS, DOCKETED CAUSE AND ENTERED APPEARANCES OF COUNSEL. NOTIFIED REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST OF FILING. (MOATT) [04-72364] (ft)
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Meanwhile, this tax protestor got caught with foreign accounts and is considered a "flight risk" so he'll probably have to sit in jail awaiting trial, which is OK since his trial will be a slam-dunk for the U.S. Attorney and he might as well build credits towards what will probably be a very long sentence.



Erie Times-News

May 13, 2004

Tax protester appeals decision to keep him in jail
By LISA THOMPSON

The way Meadville tax protester Daniel Leveto sees it, the government took seven years to create its tax-fraud case against him.

He thinks he'll need more than an hour a week in the prison law library to prepare his defense.

Leveto filed a handwritten motion in U.S. District Court Tuesday seeking his release from jail before he goes on trial.

Leveto said he realizes it took him two years to turn himself in on the federal tax-fraud charges he faces. But he says that now he wants to answer the allegations in court.

He asked a judge to overturn U.S. District Magistrate Judge Susan Paradise Baxter's April decision to hold Leveto in Erie County Prison until his trial.

Leveto says in prison, he's housed with "sentenced convicted criminals." He does not have access to the records and resources he needs for his defense and cannot prepare for trial in that setting, he claims.

Leveto, a veterinarian, dismisses the government's claim that he belongs to militant groups. He said his history of peacefulness "speaks louder" than those claims.

Leveto wants to live with his mother in Conneaut Lake. Bond and home-monitoring "can surely assuage the government's fear of Leveto's flight," he wrote.

The appeal will be considered by U.S. District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin.

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Leveto, 53, in March at an Ohio truck stop more than two years after a federal tax-fraud indictment was returned against him.

The indictment alleges Leveto, whose last known address was the 18000 block of Conneaut Lake Road, did not divulge foreign bank accounts and withheld veterinary business receipts.

At his detention hearing, authorities told a judge they believe a link existed between Leveto and Darrell Sivik, the Crawford County gunsmith who officials say led the Braveheart Militia Company and who they claim committed federal firearm violations.

Sivik and Atlantic resident George Bilunka's arrests the week of March 21 revealed the existence of two local militias and plans for armed resistance to government forces.

Special Agent Richard Adams, a criminal investigator for the Internal Revenue Service, testified that Sivik told authorities that he stored three machine guns for Leveto and moved them twice at Leveto's orders while Leveto was on the run.

Following the hearing, Baxter ordered Leveto to be held in prison pending his trial.

Baxter found Leveto fled the day an indictment was returned against him and apparently lived a transient life in a trailer for more than two years, at times traveling to Canada and using the name Chester Leveto.

She said Leveto doesn't recognize the authority of the IRS investigators who brought the case against him, she said. Moreover, Leveto recently renewed a commercial pilot's license, Baxter said.

In his motion, Leveto says when he left the area, the indictment against him had not been unsealed. He said he fled to get away from personal problems stemming from a "stormy" divorce.

He said he respects the court.

"Leveto's issues are with the IRS," he said.

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently affirmed the conviction of a tax protestor who failed to file. This is more cumulative proof that jury acquittals like the Kuglin case are rarities, and that much more often than not, the ordinary jurors who hear these cases refuse to see tax protestors as the patriots they fantasize they are, but instead the jurors see them as criminal deadbeats just trying to dodge their legitimate tax obligations.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DON FREDERICK SCHUTT,
Defendant-Appellant.

Release Date: MAY 17, 2004

Published by Tax AnalystsTM

IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT

Summary Calendar

Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Texas
USDC No. 4:01-CR-90-ALL

Before HIGGINBOTHAM, DAVIS, and PRADO, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:/*/

[1] Don Frederick Schutt appeals from his conviction following a jury trial on two counts of failing to file income tax returns for the years 1995 and 1996, in violation of 26 U.S.C. section 7203. Schutt argues that the evidence was insufficient to prove that he willfully failed to file his tax returns because, based on his own research of the tax laws, he did not believe he was liable to pay taxes. Because Schutt did not move for judgment of acquittal at trial, we review to determine whether there was a miscarriage of justice. United States v. Delgado, 256 F.3d 264, 274 (5th Cir. 2001). A miscarriage of justice exists "only if the record is devoid of evidence pointing to guilt" or "the evidence on a key element of the offense was so tenuous that a conviction would be shocking." United States v. Laury, 49 F.3d 145, 151 (5th Cir. 1995)(internal quotations and citation omitted). After reviewing the record, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient for the jury to find that Schutt was aware of his duty to file tax returns and willfully failed to do so. See United States v. Shivers, 788 F.2d 1046, 1048-49 (5th Cir. 1986); see also Cheek v. United States, 498 U.S. 192, 201 (1991).

[2] Schutt also argues that the magistrate judge erroneously excluded from evidence documents that he used to form his beliefs about the federal tax system. Schutt was permitted to testify about the documents upon he which relied, to read the contents of the documents to the jury, and to explain the effect of the documents on his beliefs. There was no abuse of discretion in the court's exclusion of the documents from evidence. See United States v. Stafford, 983 F.2d 25, 27-28 (5th Cir. 1993); United States v. Barnett, 945 F.2d 1296, 1301 (5th Cir. 1991); United States v. Flitcraft, 803 F.2d 184, 186 (5th Cir. 1986).

[3] AFFIRMED.

FOOTNOTE

/*/Pursuant to 5th Cir. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5th Cir. R. 47.5.4.

END OF FOOTNOTE



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This tax protestor idiot kept filing junk motions in an attempt to tie up the courts and finally got hit with a $10,000 sanction for doing so.

UNITED STATES TAX COURT

Filed May 17, 2004

James L. Jensen, pro se.

Stephen P. Baker, for respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

[1] VASQUEZ, Judge: This case is before the Court on respondent's motion for summary judgment and to impose a penalty under section 6673/1/ (motion for summary judgment) and petitioner's motion to strike respondent's motion for summary judgment (motion to strike).

[2] Rule 121(a) provides that either party may move for summary judgment upon all or any part of the legal issues in controversy. Full or partial summary judgment may be granted only if it is demonstrated that no genuine issue exists as to any material fact, and a decision may be rendered as a matter of law. Rule 121(b); Sundstrand Corp. v. Commissioner, 98 T.C. 518, 520 (1992), affd. 17 F.3d 965 (7th Cir. 1994).

[3] We conclude that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that a decision may be rendered as a matter of law.

Background

[4] Petitioner is a commercial fisherman. At the time he filed the petition, petitioner resided in Cordova, Alaska.

[5] On or about April 15, 1995, respondent received from petitioner his joint Federal income tax return for 1994. Petitioner listed his income tax liability as $ 147. This liability was attributable to petitioner's two children, whose income tax liability petitioner elected to report on his return on Form 8814, Parents' Election to Report Child's Interest and Dividends. Petitioner reported zero taxable income and no tax due for himself.

[6] On or about August 26, 1996, respondent received from petitioner his joint Federal income tax return for 1995. Petitioner reported negative taxable income and no tax due.

[7] On or about April 15, 1997, respondent received from petitioner his joint Federal income tax return for 1996. Petitioner listed his income tax liability as $ 4,040. This liability was attributable to one of petitioner's children ($ 73 reported on Form 8814), whose income tax liability petitioner elected to report on petitioner's return, and to self-employment tax ($ 3,967). Petitioner reported zero taxable income.

[8] On or about April 15, 1998, respondent received from petitioner his joint Federal income tax return for 1997. Petitioner listed his income tax liability as $ 8,121. This liability was attributable to one of petitioner's children ($ 98 reported on Form 8814), whose income tax liability petitioner elected to report on petitioner's return, and to self-employment tax ($ 8,023). Petitioner reported zero taxable income.

[9] On June 3, 1999, respondent sent petitioner a statutory notice of deficiency for 1994. Respondent determined a $ 5,387 deficiency and a $ 1,077.40 penalty pursuant to section 6662(a) for 1994. Petitioner received this notice of deficiency and responded to it with a 15-page letter containing frivolous and groundless arguments.
[10] On August 10, 1999, respondent sent petitioner a statutory notice of deficiency for 1995. Respondent determined a $ 97,021 deficiency, a $ 4,851 penalty pursuant to section 6651(a)(1), and a $ 19,404 penalty pursuant to section 6662(a) for 1995. Petitioner received this notice of deficiency and responded to it with a 15-page letter containing frivolous and groundless arguments.

[11] On December 2, 1999, respondent sent petitioner a letter advising him that his tax returns for 1996 and 1997 were under examination. On December 12, 1999, petitioner responded with a two- page letter containing frivolous and groundless arguments.
[12] On April 4, 2000, respondent sent petitioner a statutory notice of deficiency for 1996 and 1997. Respondent determined an $ 8,338 deficiency and a $ 1,667.60 penalty pursuant to section 6662(a) for 1996 and a $ 9,317 deficiency and a $ 1,863.40 penalty pursuant to section 6662(a) for 1997. This notice of deficiency was sent via certified mail to petitioner's last known address -- which also is the address petitioner used in the petition and the amended petition. This notice of deficiency was not returned as undeliverable.

[13] Petitioner did not petition the Court for redetermination of the deficiencies or penalties with respect to 1994, 1995, 1996, or 1997. Respondent assessed petitioner's tax liability, along with penalties and interest, as follows:

Year Assessment Date
1994 Oct. 18, 1999
1995 Dec. 27, 1999
1996 Aug. 28, 2000
1997 Sept. 4, 2000

[14] Respondent sent petitioner notices and demand for payment of the assessments as follows: In October 1999 for 1994, in December 1999 and February 2000 for 1995, in August and September 2000 for 1996, and in September 2000 for 1997. Petitioner responded to the requests for payment for 1994 and 1997 with several 15-page letters containing frivolous and groundless arguments.

[15] On or about December 28, 2000, respondent filed a notice of Federal tax lien regarding petitioner's income tax liabilities for 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 with the Recording District of Cordova, Anchorage, Alaska (tax lien). The tax lien listed $ 9,523.39 owed for 1994, $ 164,595.94 owed for 1995, $ 13,249.99 owed for 1996, and $ 13,659.98 owed for 1997.

[16] On January 3, 2001, respondent issued to petitioner a Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing and Your Right to a Hearing Under IRC 6320 regarding his income tax liabilities for 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 (hearing notice). Attached to the hearing notice was a copy of the tax lien.

[17] On January 31, 2001, in response to the hearing notice, petitioner submitted a 15-page letter containing frivolous and groundless arguments. Petitioner did not file a Form 12153, Request for a Collection Due Process Hearing; however, respondent treated petitioner's January 31, 2001, letter as the equivalent of a Form 12153 -- i.e., as a request for a section 6330 hearing.

[18] On February 26, 2001, respondent sent petitioner a letter notifying him that his case had been assigned to an Appeals officer.

[19] On March 8, 2001, petitioner responded to respondent's February 26, 2001, letter with frivolous and groundless arguments.

[20] On April 2, 2002, Appeals Officer Donna Chilton invited petitioner to attend a section 6330 hearing with her at 10 a. m. on April 24, 2002, in Anchorage, Alaska.

[21] On April 15, 2002, petitioner wrote to Ms. Chilton to advise her that April 24, 2002, was not a convenient time and that he was seeking an attorney to represent him. Petitioner requested that the hearing be held during the week of May 19, 2002, as he would be in Anchorage, Alaska, during that time. Ms. Chilton rescheduled petitioner's hearing, on the basis of his request, for May 21, 2002.

[22] On May 14, 2002, petitioner sent Ms. Chilton a letter in lieu of a face-to-face hearing. Regarding 1994 and 1996, petitioner argued that the assessments were barred by the period of limitations. Regarding 1995 and 1997, petitioner claimed he did not receive any "notices of assessment" for 1995 and 1997 and complained that the Forms 4340, Certificate of Assessments, Payments, and Other Specified Matters, did not list the amounts demanded next to the entries listing demand for payment./2/

[23] On May 16, 2002, Ms. Chilton responded to petitioner's May 14, 2002, letter. Ms. Chilton addressed each of petitioner's claims and attached documents to support her conclusions.

[24] On May 30, 2002, respondent issued a Notice of Determination Concerning Collection Action(s) Under Section 6320 and/or 6330 to petitioner regarding his 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 tax years (notice of determination). In the notice of determination, respondent determined that the tax lien should remain in place.

[25] On June 17, 2002, petitioner timely filed an imperfect petition for lien or levy action under section 6320(c) or 6330(d) seeking review of respondent's determination to proceed with collection of petitioner's 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 tax liabilities.

[26] On June 20, 2002, the Court ordered that on or before July 18, 2002, petitioner file a proper amended petition and pay the filing fee.

[27] On June 24, 2002, petitioner sent Ms. Chilton two letters in response to the notice of determination. In these letters, petitioner raised frivolous and groundless arguments.

[28] On July 1, 2002, petitioner filed an amended petition for lien or levy action under section 6320(c) or 6330(d) seeking review of respondent's determination to proceed with collection of petitioner's 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 tax liabilities.

[29] On January 16, 2003, petitioner was served with the Court's notice setting case for trial and standing pretrial order setting the case for trial during the Court's 2-week session in Anchorage, Alaska, beginning on June 16, 2003. The Court advised petitioner that he needed to be ready and available during this 2- week period to try his case.

[30] On April 22, 2003, petitioner filed a motion to dismiss (motion to dismiss). In the motion to dismiss, petitioner stated that the parties were in negotiations to settle the case.

[31] On May 1, 2003, the Court ordered respondent to file a response to petitioner's motion to dismiss on or before May 15, 2003.

[32] On May 15, 2003, respondent filed a response to petitioner's motion to dismiss. Respondent stated that he had made a diligent inquiry and found that no negotiations were currently in progress with petitioner. Respondent further stated that he intended to file a motion for summary judgment and would be requesting a penalty pursuant to section 6673.

[33] On May 21, 2003, the Court denied petitioner's motion to dismiss. That same day, respondent filed a motion for summary judgment and to impose a penalty under section 6673 (motion for summary judgment). Attached as exhibits to the motion for summary judgment, among other things, were Forms 4340, dated June 19, 2001, and computer-generated transcripts (TXMODA), dated June 14, 2001, for petitioner's 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 tax years.

[34] On May 22, 2003, the Court ordered petitioner to file a response to respondent's motion for summary judgment on or before June 5, 2003, and calendared the motion for hearing at the trial session of the Court commencing on June 16, 2003.

[35] After receiving a call from the parties that petitioner was a fisherman and it was difficult for him to get to Anchorage, Alaska, the Court calendared the hearing for a date and time certain of 9 a.m. on June 26, 2003./3/

[36] On June 26, 2003, at 9:30 a.m., petitioner's case was called. Petitioner failed to appear. Instead, petitioner's wife, who is not an attorney or a party to this case, "appeared" with a "special power of attorney". Petitioner's wife stated that petitioner was out on his boat fishing because it was fishing season.

[37] After admonishing petitioner's wife regarding petitioner's failure to appear, the Court asked respondent's counsel if he was prepared to file a written motion to dismiss for lack of prosecution. Respondent's counsel answered that he was not. The Court rescheduled petitioner's case for the next day, June 27, 2003, at 10 a.m. Respondent's counsel advised the Court that he would file a motion to dismiss for lack of prosecution if petitioner did not appear at that time, and the Court stated that the motion would be granted if petitioner did not appear. The Court further stated that we would hear argument on respondent's request to impose sanctions on June 27, 2003.

[38] That same day, respondent filed a supplemental declaration, with attached exhibits, in support of his motion for summary judgment.

[39] On June 27, 2003, at 10:55 a.m., petitioner appeared. At this hearing, petitioner made frivolous and groundless arguments. That same day, petitioner filed a response to respondent's motion for summary judgment and imposition of a penalty that contained frivolous and groundless arguments. Petitioner also filed the motion to strike.
Discussion

I. Determination To Proceed With Collection

[40] Section 6320 provides that the Secretary shall furnish the person described in section 6321 with written notice (i.e., the hearing notice) of the filing of a notice of lien under section 6323. Section 6320 further provides that the taxpayer may request administrative review of the matter (in the form of a hearing) within a 30-day period. The hearing generally shall be conducted consistent with the procedures set forth in section 6330(c), (d), and (e). Sec. 6320(c).

[41] Pursuant to section 6330(c)(2)(A), a taxpayer may raise at the section 6330 hearing any relevant issue with regard to the Commissioner's collection activities, including spousal defenses, challenges to the appropriateness of the Commissioner's intended collection action, and alternative means of collection. Sego v. Commissioner, 114 T.C. 604, 609 (2000); Goza v. Commissioner, 114 T.C. 176, 180 (2000). If a taxpayer received a statutory notice of deficiency for the years in issue or otherwise had the opportunity to dispute the underlying tax liability, the taxpayer is precluded from challenging the existence or amount of the underlying tax liability. Sec. 6330(c)(2)(B); Sego v. Commissioner, supra at 610-611; Goza v. Commissioner, supra at 182-183.

[42] Petitioner received the notices of deficiency for 1994 and 1995. The notice of deficiency for 1996 and 1997 was sent via certified mail to petitioner's last known address--which also is the address petitioner used in the petition and the amended petition. This notice of deficiency was not returned as undeliverable. Respondent submitted a certified mailing list to confirm these facts. Furthermore, petitioner did not claim that he did not receive the notice of deficiency for 1996 and 1997. Accordingly, petitioner is deemed to have received this notice of deficiency. Sego v. Commissioner, supra at 610-611.

[43] Petitioner chose not to file a petition for redetermination in response to these notices of deficiency. Accordingly, petitioner cannot contest the underlying deficiencies for 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997. Sec. 6330(c)(2)(B); Sego v. Commissioner, supra; Goza v. Commissioner, supra at 182-183. Claims that the limitation period for assessment has expired are challenges to the underlying tax liability. Boyd v. Commissioner, 117 T.C. 127, 130 (2001). Therefore, petitioner cannot raise these claims in this proceeding.

[44] Where the validity of the underlying tax liability is not properly in issue, we review the Commissioner's determination for an abuse of discretion. Sego v. Commissioner, supra at 610.

[45] Petitioner's remaining argument appears to be that the verification requirement of section 6330 has not been met. Section 6330(c)(1) does not require the Commissioner to rely on a particular document to satisfy the verification requirement imposed therein. E. g., Schnitzler v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2002-159 (citing five other cases to support this principle). We have repeatedly held that the Commissioner may rely on Forms 4340 or transcripts of account to satisfy the verification requirement of section 6330(c)(1). Hromiko v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2003-107; Schnitzler v. Commissioner, supra; Kaeckell v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2002-114; Obersteller v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2002-106; Weishan v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2002-88; Lindsey v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2002-87, affd. 456 Fed. Appx. 802 (9th Cir. 2003); Tolotti v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2002-86, affd. 70 Fed. Appx. 971 (9th Cir. 2003); Duffield v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2002-53; Kuglin v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2002-51.

[46] Petitioner has not alleged any irregularity in the assessment procedure that would raise a question about the validity of the assessments or the information contained in the Forms 4340 or transcripts of account. See Davis v. Commissioner, 115 T.C. 35, 41 (2000); Mann v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2002-48. Accordingly, we hold that the Appeals officer satisfied the verification requirement of section 6330(c)(1). Cf. Nicklaus v. Commissioner, 117 T.C. 117, 120-121 (2001).

[47] Petitioner has failed to raise a spousal defense, make a valid challenge to the appropriateness of respondent's intended collection action, or offer alternative means of collection. These issues are now deemed conceded. See Rule 331(b)(4).

II. Section 6673

[48] Section 6673(a)(1) authorizes the Court to require a taxpayer to pay to the United States a penalty not to exceed $ 25,000 if the taxpayer took frivolous positions in the proceedings or instituted the proceedings primarily for delay. A position maintained by the taxpayer is "frivolous" where it is "contrary to established law and unsupported by a reasoned, colorable argument for change in the law." Coleman v. Commissioner, 791 F.2d 68, 71 (7th Cir. 1986); see also Hansen v. Commissioner, 820 F.2d 1464, 1470 (9th Cir. 1987) (section 6673 penalty upheld because taxpayer should have known claim was frivolous).

[49] At the hearing, the Court warned petitioner that the arguments he was advancing were frivolous and groundless, that the arguments had been rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the court to which this case is appealable), and that we believed he filed the petition to delay collection.

[50] Our authority and willingness to impose penalties pursuant to section 6673(a) on those taxpayers who abuse the protections afforded by sections 6320 and 6330 by instituting or maintaining actions under those sections primarily for delay or by taking frivolous or groundless positions in such actions are well established. Cf. Pierson v. Commissioner, 115 T.C. 576, 581 (2000). Petitioner filed frivolous documents and motions with the Court. Petitioner's position, based on stale and meritless contentions, is manifestly frivolous and groundless, and he has wasted the time and resources of the Court. We are convinced that petitioner instituted and maintained these proceedings primarily for delay. Accordingly, we shall impose a penalty of $ 10,000 pursuant to section 6673.

[51] To reflect the foregoing,

[52] An appropriate order and decision will be entered.

FOOTNOTES

/1/Unless otherwise indicated, all section references are to the Internal Revenue Code, and all Rule references are to the Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure.

/2/A request for payment for 1997 that petitioner received and responded to with frivolous and groundless arguments, specifically lists the amount owed as $ 17,384.38. A notice for 1994 that petitioner received and responded to with frivolous and groundless arguments, specifically lists the amount owed as $ 9,567.31.

/3/ Pursuant to Fed. R. Evid. 201, we take judicial notice of the following facts: Cordova, Alaska, is approximately 125 to 145 miles from Anchorage, Alaska, "as the crow flies" and approximately 390 miles away by car.

Accordingly, because of the distance and difficulty of getting from Cordova to Anchorage, the Appeals officer, respondent, and the Court were willing to accommodate petitioner.

END OF FOOTNOTES
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Another day, another bad day for tax protestors, including a couple who apparently drank heavily of the tax protestor koolaid and will now spend several years brewing hootch in their prison toilets.

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

San Diego
California United States Attorney
Carol C. Lam
For Further Information Contact:
Department of Justice, Tax Division Trial Attorney,
Lori Hendrickson (619) 446-3528

For Immediate Release NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY -

May 13, 2004 Carol C. Lam, United States Attorney for the Southern District of California, Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division, Department of Justice, and Denise L. Rubin, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, today announced that a federal grand jury in San Diego handed up an indictment charging San Diego attorney Richard D. Corona and his wife Tracy D. Corona with federal criminal tax offenses. The five-count indictment contains charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, income tax evasion, and failure to pay income tax.

According to Count One of the indictment, Richard and Tracy Corona conspired to defraud the United States from May 1997 through October 2001 by claiming they were not U.S. citizens, and thus challenging the authority and jurisdiction of the IRS to collect income tax from them. In one letter sent to the IRS, and quoted in the indictment, Richard Corona challenged the authority and jurisdiction of the IRS and stated that he was a “natural born free American National Sovereign Citizen of the California Republic, non-resident alien of the federal ‘United States.’” Richard and Tracy Corona furthered this “non-citizen” claim by filing several fraudulent Nonresident Alien income tax returns. The indictment states that Richard and Tracy Corona were U.S. citizens, and filed these returns in an effort to obstruct the collection efforts of the IRS. As noted in IRS Publication 519 (found on the Internal Revenue Service’s website (www.irs.gov)), “For tax purposes, an alien is an individual who is not a U.S. citizen.”

The indictment also alleges that, in furtherance of the conspiracy, Tracy Corona instructed tenants of property owned by Richard Corona not to honor an IRS levy which required the tenants to make their rental payments to the IRS instead of Richard Corona.

In Count Two of the indictment, Richard Corona is charged with one count of tax evasion for tax year 1997. That count alleges that, in order to evade the payment of significant individual tax, Richard Corona concealed his ownership in Park Centre Properties by creating a fictitious trust. Park Centre Properties is a partnership which owned commercial property in San Diego.

Lastly, Richard and Tracy Corona are each charged with three counts of failure to pay income tax due for 1998, 1999, and 2000 (Counts Three through Five). As alleged in the indictment, they filed joint income tax returns for those three years reporting over $2.5 million in income, which resulted in over $600,000 in total income tax due, but not paid.

This case was investigated by Special Agents with the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, and prosecuted by Department of Justice, Tax Division, Trial Attorneys Lori A. Hendrickson and Nicholas D. Dickinson. For more information on the “non-citizen” strategy and other tax evasion schemes, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov, and click on the link “Phony Tax Arguments.”


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Get the TRUTH about Paytriots and Tax Protestor Scams at http://quatloos.com

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