A chiropractor was sentenced to 21 months in prison for following the tax defiance advice promoted by actor Wesley Snipes' recent co-defendant.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. School of Buffalo, N.Y., sentenced John Weisberg to the jail term and ordered him to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service by filing tax returns and paying back taxes as a condition of supervised release. Weisberg was convicted in February of three counts of failure to file tax returns. His office said the chiropractor was seeing a patient and declined to comment.
Weisberg stopped filing tax returns in 1995 and did not pay any federal income taxes between 1995 and 2003, evading an estimated $144,000, according to the Justice Department.
Weisberg became a member and client of a Florida-based tax defier organization known as American Rights Litigators in 1997. ARL, operated by Eddie Ray Kahn, promoted multiple tax fraud schemes. Kahn was convicted in February of tax charges in the Snipes case and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Weisberg purchased a service from ARL in which ARL-affiliated lawyers and accountants responded to IRS notices seeking his returns. The letters advanced claims and requests purporting to set forth reasons why he was not required to file returns or pay taxes.
Wesberg's attorneys claimed during his trial that he had relied in good faith upon the advice of ARL, but prosecutors argued that he was warned of his legal duty to file returns by the IRS as well as by accountants and attorneys. Prosecutors also showed that Weisberg used an offshore bank account in the Bahamas to evade taxes.
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