A federal judge in Greenville, S.C., has permanently barred Heather Alexander Ferguson from promoting an alleged tax-fraud scheme.

The government complaint in the case alleges that Ferguson operated a business in the town, promoting the so-called "861 Argument" and helping her ex-husband, John Howard Alexander, promote a sham-trust tax scam.

The suit alleges that Ferguson falsely advised customers that U.S. citizens are "non-resident aliens" or "sovereign state citizens" who are not required to pay tax on income earned in the country. The complaint also alleges that Ferguson advised customers that they could rely on frivolous arguments sent to the Internal Revenue Service as a basis for not reporting income and paying tax

In a separate suit filed recently, the Justice Department asked the same court to permanently bar Ferguson's ex-husband from promoting both schemes. The complaints in the two civil injunction cases allege that Ferguson and Alexander's tax-fraud schemes have caused an estimated $48 million in losses to the Treasury.

The suit accuses Alexander of selling sham-trust packages to customers for as much as $2,495 and helped his customers hide their income from the IRS using offshore sham trusts. Both suits ask the court to order the defendants to give the Justice Department a list of their customers' names, addresses, e-mail addresses, Social Security numbers, and telephone numbers.

The complaints allege that Ferguson and Alexander jointly promoted the schemes while they were married from 1996 through 2004.

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