Influential tax protestor Irwin Schiff had his 151-month prison sentence extended by an additional 11 months after he was sentenced for criminal contempt.
U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson reinstated 15 criminal contempt convictions for Schiff's unruly behavior during his 2005 trial. In October 2005, Schiff was convicted of conspiring to defraud the United States, aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns, filing his own false tax returns, and evading the payment of millions of dollars in back taxes owed.
According to prosecutors, beginning in 1995, Schiff aided thousands of taxpayers in filing false income tax returns with the IRS that reported zero taxable income despite the taxpayers earning reportable income.
Schiff owned and operated Freedom Books, a business that sold books, tapes and informational packages encouraging customers not to pay income tax. Between 1997 and 2002, Freedom Books sold more than $4.2 million of these products. Prosecutors claimed that Schiff evaded the payment of more than $2 million in taxes he owed the IRS between 1979 and 1985, in part by using offshore bank accounts and conducting financial transactions through secret "warehouse" banking services.
The evidence also showed that Schiff used debit cards issued by offshore banks to obtain funds he transferred offshore, that he opened bank accounts using multiple tax identification numbers and that he concealed his wealth by hiding his assets through the use of nominees.
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