Updated May 10, 2004








Tax Protester Draws Tough Sentence

Tax Protester Draws Tough Sentence


By John Tiffany


A judge has sentenced a Texas man to 7 years in jail and a fine of $302,000 for failing to withhold taxes from his employees. Bedford, Texas, businessman Richard M. Simkanin remained defiant at his sentencing on April 30. He calls himself a “Christian patriot” and a “political prisoner.” Simkanin had been convicted in January on 29 counts of violating federal income tax laws. The sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge John McBryde was a stiff one.

Seven years was in excess of federal sentencing guidelines, which call for a sentence of 41 to 51 months.

Simkanin had, however, faced a maximum sentence of 129 years and a possible fine of $3.95 million. The defendant had deliberately failed to withhold taxes on wages paid to employees.

Earlier he had pleaded guilty to one felony charge. “Tax honesty” advocate Simkanin admitted he knew that he had to pay taxes, but tried to avoid the taxman, explaining that the government never told him the tax system wasn’t voluntary.

Simkanin is an advocate of the so-called “Section 861” tax theory, which, through his and others’ interpretation of the statute, concludes that only foreigners are subject to the Internal Revenue Code. The government says otherwise.