2011-07-18 "‘Sovereign citizens’ charged with tax crimes" by LEVI PULKKINEN from "SEATTLEPI.COM"
Alleging connections to the “sovereign citizen” movement, federal prosecutors have charged a Yelm couple with lying to the IRS to collect $320,600 in tax refunds.
In charging documents filed earlier in July, prosecutors in Tacoma contend Raymond Leo Jarlik-Bell and Ute Christine Jarlik-Bell tried to bilk the IRS out of the money by falsifying their tax returns.
The couple had previously been warned by the IRS that the bond-interest scheme – in which would-be taxpayers claim to use an IRS form to obtain money from the Treasury Department – is entirely frivolous.
Writing the court, IRS Criminal Investigations Division Special Agent Debbie White described the Jarlik-Bells as participants in the “Sovereign Assemblies” movement and consider themselves to be “sovereign citizens” not subject to the laws of the United States.
Adherents to the “sovereign citizen” movement often use outlandish claims to assert that state and federal laws are not in fact enforceable. They are also sometimes involved in tax evasion schemes based on arguments that federal taxation is not legal.
In 2005, Raymond Jarlik-Bell was barred from promoting tax fraud schemes after the government obtained a permanent injunction against him.
At that time, he was promoting sham trust and business accounts to conceal income from the IRS, according to charging documents. He helped others falsely claim tax-exempt status for their businesses, White told the court, and helped them fabricate deductions to evade income and employment taxes.
Raymond Jarlik-Bell was barred from marketing plans to encourage taxpayers to avoid paying federal taxes. Prosecutors now contend he and his wife were themselves involved in such a scheme.
In tax returns filed in 2007, 2009 and 2009, the Jarlik-Bells requested large refunds by filing bond interest forms – 1099-OID – while falsely claiming to have been taxed excessively, according to charging documents.
White noted that Raymond Jarlik-Bell was sent a letter in September 2008 advising that he had filed a frivolous tax return and directing him to an IRS document outlining the problems with the bond-interest scheme. Raymond Jarlik-Bell responded with a letter of his own, claiming his filing was accurate.
The Jarlik-Bells have each been charged with three counts of making false claims to the IRS. Both were arrested Thursday and subsequently jailed.