CSUSB professor comments on federal case against ‘tax defiers’

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The Sacramento Bee — Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino, is quoted in an article about a federal court case against a Placerville business accused of a bizarre tax-fraud scheme that IRS officials began investigating in the fall of 2008.

During the probe, officials and prosecutors found themselves bombarded with multimillion-dollar liens allegedly filed by the people under investigation. Government employees had their home addresses and Social Security numbers listed on some liens, court papers say.

Such schemes have been in use for decades, particularly among so-called “sovereign citizen” groups that do not trust the government and use liens, which can be filed with the state online for a $5 fee, against officials they want to punish. “It’s not just a moneymaking deal,” said Levin. “Many of these people are true believers.

“Sovereign citizens have issued financial instruments through their own common-law court,” he said. “They believe that the Federal Reserve is illegitimate, and they’ve done things like go after people by making up debts. It’s kind of like making up your own Monopoly rules, but with federal taxes, instead.”

The article was published Aug. 30, 2016.

Read the complete article at “‘Tax defiers’ from Placerville cheated the IRS out of millions, prosecutors say.”

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