Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Woman's personal freedoms and beliefs trumped by tax laws

Death and taxes are often referred to as the two constants in life. Under U.S. law, there are very definite circumstances which require an individual to file a tax return. Even individuals who are retired or not employed must file tax returns if they had federal funds withheld from a pension, receive Social Security income, or have retirement accounts such as a 401(k) or IRA. In some cases, U.S. citizens falsely believe they are not required to file or pay taxes. In other cases, U.S. citizens wrongly believe they are entitled to monies held in imaginary government-backed bonds and trusts.

One 69-year-old woman was recently found guilty of several tax crimes in relation to falsely claiming $3 million in federal tax refunds. The 69-year-old was affiliated with an organization known as the Mid-Atlantic Trustees and Administrators or MATA. The group encourages U.S. citizens to claim income related to imaginary U.S. bonds and trusts.

After a three-day trial, a jury convicted the 69-year-old woman on charges related to filing false tax returns as well as other fraudulent tax documents. In total, the 69-year-old was accused of falsely claiming $3 million in federal tax refunds. She is currently being held in police custody and is awaiting sentencing. She was found guilty of seven felony counts of tax crimes and could face years in prison.

This case is an example of how radical organizations often prey on vulnerable U.S. citizens to further their own financial gain and to promote personal ideologies. While every U.S. citizen has the right to practice and preach their own beliefs, tax laws often trump these personal freedoms.

 

Source: St. Louis Dispatch, "Kirkwood woman convicted of 'mumbo-jumbo' tax crimes," Robert Patrick, May 15, 2013