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Press Release

Colorado Tax Defier Convicted Of Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Owed More than $2 million to the IRS

A Colorado tax defier was convicted of tax evasion yesterday by a federal jury in Denver announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn for the District of Colorado.

According to court documents and evidence presented during the one-week trial, Lawrence Martin Birk founded a sole proprietorship, Tarryall River Log Homes LLC, in 2000. He ran the company, which sold and built log homes. For more than twenty years, Birk did not voluntarily pay federal income taxes. After the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began collection efforts, including visiting Birk at his home, he hired a tax firm to prepare eight years’ worth of delinquent tax returns. However, Birk concealed pertinent information from the tax firm, including over $400,000 of retirement distributions that he funneled through a sham company. After filing his tax returns, which omitted the retirement income, Birk did not pay what the returns claimed was due and owing. Instead, he sent the IRS threatening correspondence that espoused the frivolous tax arguments of known tax defier organizations, including the “We The People” foundation and the “Tax Honesty” movement.

After being notified that the IRS intended to seize money from his bank accounts for taxes owed, Birk took steps to shield his money against the IRS’ collection efforts. Immediately or shortly after depositing funds into his bank account, Birk purchased cashier’s checks to reduce his balance and impede the IRS’ ability to seize the money. Birk’s outstanding tax liabilities, including taxes, interest, and penalties, were over $2 million for 1998 to 2005. He has not filed returns or made any tax payments for the 2006 through 2018 tax years.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and United States Attorney Dunn commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, as well as Department of Justice Tax Division Assistant Chief Elizabeth C. Hadden and Trial Attorney Christopher Magnani, who are prosecuting the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.

Updated July 26, 2019

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 19-813