Most people who are accused of tax evasion are otherwise rational people who made a bad choice or decision. Sometimes they simply got a bit too aggressive in their positions and sometimes they had absolutely no intent to break the law. This post is about a third category of defendants – tax protesters (or in the new vocabulary of IRS criminal investigators, a “tax defier.”) Meet Gregory Foland, the poster child of defiance.
According to the Albany Times Union, Foland was in court last week on charges of tax evasion. Prosecutors say he has failed to file several years worth of state income taxes. An alleged member of the sovereign citizen movement, Foland apparently doesn’t deal well with authority. At his arraignment before Albany County Judge Stephen Herrick, Foland repeatedly called the judge “Steve.”
Calling a judge by his or her first name is never a good way to make a first impression. Especially when the judge is setting your bail.
The arraignment proceeded steadily down hill. When the judge asked Foland to confirm his name, Foland refused. Exasperated, the judge tried to confirm Foland’s identity by showing him a DMV photo and asking Foland, “Is that your picture?”
Not to be defeated by such a difficult question, Foland responded, “Is it in your hands? That would make it yours.”
Trying a different approach, the judge asked Foland, “Were you given the name Gregory Foland by your parents when you were born?”
Foland allegedly responded, “I don’t recall, I was a baby.”
Hoping that Foland would recall what his parents called him in middle school, Judge Herrick asked him whether he was called Gregory Foland then. Foland replied that he wasn’t going to “claim” his name.
Ultimately, Herrick had enough and held Foland in contempt. Deputies remanded him to jail. Instead of being free on bail and better able to prepare his arguments for trial, Foland may have to mount his defense from a jail cell. Not an easy task.
We have represented several members of the tax freedom movement over the years. All believe that income taxes are unconstitutional or that the law does not allow for such taxes. If you study their arguments (there is much to read on the Internet), there is an element of truth to many of their arguments. Fighting with judges at arraignment, however, is not the way to win these cases.
Judges are the gatekeepers to the court process and being disrespectful and refusing to answer simple questions only results in one thing. Jail.
We caution here as we do in every tax evasion story that the defendants are innocent until proven guilty.
If you are under investigation for tax evasion or other criminal tax charges, contact us immediately. Our criminal tax attorneys have helped people across the United States come into compliance and avoid jail.
Mahany & Ertl is a full service, national boutique practice concentrating in tax evasion investigations, IRS audit defense and trust fund recovery penalty assessments. Founding partner Brian Mahany is a former agent and Assistant Attorney General – Tax. Our team has decades criminal tax experience to help preserve your freedom.
For more information, contact attorney Brian Mahany at or by telephone at (414) 704-6731 (direct). All inquiries are protected by the attorney – client privilege and kept in complete confidence.
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Post by Brian Mahany
Tagged as tax evasion, IRS tax attorney, tax protester