An Arkansas tax attorney and an Oklahoma businessman he represented have each been sentenced to 15 years in prison for their involvement in a tax fraud scheme.

Tax attorney Oscar Amos Stilley, 46, of Fort Smith, Ark., and businessman Lindsey Kent Springer, 44, of Kellyville, Okla., were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen P. Friot last Friday in a Tulsa, Okla., court. Both men were found guilty in a jury trial last November of conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax evasion. Springer was also convicted on a charge of failure to file tax returns. Neither man has filed an income tax return since the late 1980s.

Springer used the name Bondage Breakers Ministry to solicit and receive money. The ministry’s stated purpose was “to get rid of the Internal Revenue Service.” Stilley, an attorney and tax advisor, aided Springer’s tax evasion scheme by maintaining an interest-bearing account, known as an Arkansas IOLTA Foundation Trust account, and various other devices such as cashier’s checks, check-cashing services, money orders, cash and other means to conceal Springer’s actual income and avoid creating the usual records of financial institutions.

Springer told IRS employees that all the funds he received were gifts and donations to his ministry, and that he did not have any income. He also stated he did not provide any services for payment. However, there were numerous transactions involving hundreds of thousands of dollars between Springer and Stilley that flowed through the IOLTA account, including $166,000 paid in August 2005 to purchase a motor home in the name of Springer and his wife, and a September 2005 payment of $25,813 to purchase a Lexus automobile in Springer’s name.

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