On the first page of the governments “Sentencing Memorandum” it states:
For nearly a decade, Snipes has engaged in a campaign of criminal tax conduct combining brazen defiance with insidious concealment. By these means, Snipes has escaped paying more than $15 million in income tax to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and has pursued an intended fraudulent harm to the United States Treasury of more than $41 million.
But what exactly did he do? Well, for one he was convicted for not filing tax returns. But the other issues are listed below and perhaps might shed some light on his actions as the government prepares to issue it’s punishment this month.
The report states:
With the help of co-defendants Eddie Kahn and Douglas Rosile of the American Rights Litigators/Guiding Light of God Ministries (ARL/GLGM) tax fraud mill, Snipes brazenly waged a campaign against the IRS using a panoply of schemes.
These schemes included:
- Filing two false refund claims totaling over $11 million based on the frivolous argument that domestically-derived income was not subject to U.S. income tax (the so-called “861 argument”).
- Submitting bogus Uniform Commercial Code filings purporting to make it possible for Snipes to personally draw upon the United States Treasury.
- Submitting so-called Bills of Exchange falsely denominated in the millions of dollars to use in purported payment of Snipes‘ tax obligations.
- Sending correspondence threatening a frivolous complaint against IRS workers to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
- Sending frivolous demands to the IRS for a so-called “Determination Letter” as to Snipes’ status as a taxpayer.
- Making frivolous Freedom of Information Act requests for IRS records.
The question at hand, as Snipes faces sentencing on April 24th, how much does the overall issue the IRS has with Snipes play into his final sentence? Keep in mind he was not convicted of fraud, only failure to file his returns for three years.
The Supreme Court has said that tax deniers are not guilty of fraud if they can prove that they “sincerely believe” that they weren’t required to pay the taxes. They still have to pay back the taxes and fines, but they can escape criminal consequences.
One week after vowing to crack down on “tax defiers,” the Justice Department filed court papers seeking the maximum penalty for the three misdemeanor counts on which Snipes was convicted.
“This case presents the court with a singular opportunity to deter tax fraud nationwide,” the government said in its sentencing recommendation.
Your comments are welcome!