Federal judges have recently sentenced four members of the anti-government tax protest movement from across the southern United States to prison time for their tax crimes.
On July 15, 2009, a federal judge in the Western District of Oklahoma sentenced tax protester George Edward Boyd, 60, of Stillwater, Oklahoma, to almost three years in prison for filing fraudulent personal income tax returns, and to pay $133,000 in restitution.
According to the federal indictment, Boyd, a retired United States Air Force officer who was working as a civilian pilot, signed seven false income tax returns and claimed seven fraudulent tax refunds totaling over $163,700, and did not file personal income tax returns at all for five years. In 2004 and 2005, two federal courts ruled that Boyd's arguments in his defense, typical of the tax protest movement, were both frivolous and groundless.
Also on July 15, a federal judge in the Southern District of Mississippi sentenced Paul Richard Arceneaux to 46 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and to pay $176,616.18 in restitution.
Arceneaux, the owner of Speedy Cash Inc., a quick-cash loan business in Gulfport, Mississippi, was convicted of corruptly interfering with Internal Revenue laws by filing bogus tax returns and frivolous lawsuits against two IRS employees, and for not filing any income tax returns for two years.
Arceneaux argued that he was a citizen of the state of Mississippi, not a citizen of the United States, so the federal tax laws did not apply to him, but the judge rejected this common sovereign citizen argument.
On June 29, a federal judge in Fort Myers, Florida, sentenced husband and wife real estate agents Sheri Redekker Barry and Warren Thomas Barry to 36 months and 24 months in prison, respectively, and to pay $555,728 restitution for conspiracy and failure to file tax returns.
The couple had sent letters to the IRS asserting they were not obligated to either file or pay taxes. The IRS responded by repeatedly warning the couple that failure to do so was a violation of federal law. The Barrys ignored the warnings and proceeded to hide their income and assets from the IRS and later attempted to pay their IRS debt with fictitious financial instruments titled "Bills of Exchange" that originated with the sovereign citizen movement.