WASHINGTON – A federal judge in Buffalo, N.Y., has sentenced John Weisberg to 12 months in prison for failing to file tax returns, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today.
Evidence introduced during trial showed that Weisberg, a chiropractor owning his own business in East Aurora, N.Y., stopped filing tax returns in 1995 and continued in his failure to file tax returns for nine tax years through 2003. In addition, Weisberg became a member-client of a Florida-based tax-defier organization known as American Rights Litigators (ARL) in 1997. ARL, formed and operated by Eddie Ray Kahn, promoted multiple tax fraud schemes. Weisberg purchased an ARL service through which ARL-affiliated lawyers and accountants, on Weisberg’s behalf, responded to IRS notices. The letters to the IRS advanced false and frivolous claims and requests purporting to set forth legal reasons why Weisberg was not required to file returns.
At trial, Weisberg claimed that he had relied, in good faith, on the legal and accounting advice of ARL in not filing returns. He also asserted that the IRS had failed to respond to ARL’s claims and requests over the course of seven years. The evidence at trial showed, however, that Weisberg received warnings about not filing tax returns not only from the IRS, but also from Buffalo-area accountants and attorneys.
John A. DiCicco, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division, commended the IRS agents who investigated the case, as well as Tax Division Trial Attorney John Kane, who prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its enforcement efforts is available at www.usdoj.gov/tax.