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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


JANUARY 29, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


TWO BRANSON MEN SENTENCED FOR

FAILING TO FILE TAX RETURNS


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two Branson, Mo., men were sentenced in federal court today, in separate but related cases, for failing to file income tax returns.


            Martin R. Dingman and Shane O. Grady, both of Branson, were sentenced by U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge James C. England this morning to three years of probation. In addition to the back taxes that both defendants have fully paid to the Internal Revenue Service, Dingman and Grady have cooperated with the government by participating in a series of radio and newspaper interviews.


            On July 12, 2007, both Dingman and Grady pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to file income tax returns. Dingman and Grady each admitted that they did not file income tax returns for the calendar years 1996 through 2001.


            Under the terms of their plea agreements, Dingman and Grady agreed to assist the IRS in educating the public about the illegality of such tax evasion schemes. That community service has included interviews with several publications and participation in radio call-in programs in which they discussed their experience and dissuaded others from getting involved in illicit tax protests.


            From 1996 through 2001, Dingman and Grady were in business together manufacturing leather goods, primarily belts, for sale to retailers. In 2001, Grady sold his interests in the business to Dingman, who renamed it Martin Dingman Designs. Grady now works as a self-employed real estate agent in the Branson area.


            Beginning in 1996, both Dingman and Grady began attending a series of meetings where purported experts delivered a message of tax protest. The purported experts claimed their tax arguments were derived from principles of Christian faith and the clear intent of the Constitution. They falsely claimed that individuals are sovereigns and, as such, have no obligation to pay income taxes. They also argued, incorrectly, that the United States was without legal or moral authority to assess taxes.


            Dingman has paid federal taxes totaling $342,258 for tax years 1996 through 2001. Grady has paid federal taxes totaling $219,091 for tax years 1996 through 2001.


            This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney W. Brent Powell. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html