WASHINGTON – Rodney K. Justin, a medical doctor from Woodleaf, N.C., was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay over $600,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for obstructing the internal revenue laws and for failing to file tax returns for several years, the Justice Department and IRS announced today. The sentence was imposed by Chief Judge James A. Beaty Jr. in Winston-Salem, N.C.
In 2009, a federal jury convicted Justin of four felony counts of corruptly obstructing the administration of the internal revenue laws by sending fake financial instruments called "Bills of Exchange" to the Secretary of the Treasury in Washington, D.C., in purported payment of over $350,000 in taxes. The jury also convicted Justin of willful failure to file tax returns for the tax years 2001 through 2004.
According to the indictment and evidence presented at trial, Justin had not filed a valid tax return since 1997. However, Justin earned in excess of $200,000 each year from 2001 through 2004. Justin sent letters and bogus returns to the IRS advancing false and frivolous tax defier claims purporting to set forth reasons why he was not required to pay taxes. The IRS repeatedly warned Justin that his positions were frivolous and advised him of his legal duty to file returns and pay taxes.
According to the indictment and evidence presented at trial, from 1998 through early 2004, Justin was a client at Guiding Light of God Ministries, also known as American Rights Litigators (ARL), formerly of Mount Dora, Fla. The evidence showed that Justin purchased the four fictitious "Bills of Exchange" he submitted in purported payment of income taxes from ARL.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John A. DiCicco of the Justice Department’s Tax Division commended the IRS special agents who investigated the case, as well as Assistant U.S.
Attorney Frank Chut of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina and Tax Division Trial Attorney Jeffrey McLellan, who prosecuted the case.
In August 2004, a federal district judge permanently enjoined ARL and two of its promoters from the sale of a nationwide tax scam. In April 2008, a federal court in Florida sentenced two promoters of ARL, as well as ARL client Wesley Snipes, to prison for tax offenses. In August of 2010, three promoters of ARL were sentenced in the District of Columbia to ten years’ imprisonment each along with ARL founder Eddie Ray Kahn, who received a twenty-year sentence.
More information about the Justice Department's Tax Division and its enforcement efforts is available at www.usdoj.gov/tax/ .