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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Belleville ‘Sovereign Citizen’ Convicted Of Making False Claims For Tax Refunds

Destry Marcotte, 47, of Belleville, Illinois, was convicted of four counts of filing false claims for federal tax refunds following a two-day jury trial held in federal district court, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.

Following the jury’s verdict, Marcotte was taken into custody, to be held without bond, until his sentencing. Marcotte faces up to a total of twenty years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for January 17, 2014. He has been detained awaiting sentencing.

Evidence at trial revealed that Marcotte had submitted to the IRS false claims for refunds of federal taxes over a period of years. These false refunds claimed a total amount that exceeded $600,000. Evidence showed that Marcotte claimed to be a sovereign citizen, thus he claimed to be not subject to the tax laws of the United States. In addition to filing false claims for federal income tax refunds, Marcotte did not pay federal income taxes due. At trial, proof showed that Marcotte was advised, prior to committing the charged conduct, that his claims and arguments were frivolous and could subject him to criminal prosecution.

The successful prosecution is the result of an investigation conducted by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Internal Revenue Service. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Norman Smith.

Updated February 19, 2015