Nebraska “Sovereign Citizen” Sentenced for Obstructing Internal Revenue Service and Filing False Property Liens Against Federal Officials
A La Vista, Nebraska, woman was sentenced today in U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska in Omaha to serve 36 months in prison and three years of supervised release for tax obstruction, filing a false claim and filing false retaliatory property liens, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division announced.
Donna Marie Kozak, a former college instructor, was convicted by a jury on Aug. 1, 2014, on all nine counts charged in the superseding indictment. At trial, the evidence showed that in 1997, Kozak stopped filing income tax returns, and from 1997 through 2012, she obstructed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by hiding assets, applying for tax-exempt status for a sham entity, filing a false claim for a tax refund, sending harassing correspondence to IRS agents, and filing false liens against an IRS-Criminal Investigation special agent and others.
In about 2009, Kozak joined the “Republic for the united States of America,” a sovereign citizen group, and was the group’s designated “governor of Nebraska.” In 2012 and 2013, Kozak and Georgia resident Randall Due conspired to file false liens in retaliation for the federal criminal tax prosecution and trial convictions of associates David and Bernita Kleensang. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Kozak and Due filed a false lien for $19 million on property located in Boyd County, Nebraska, that was owned by the federal U.S. District Court judge who presided over the Kleensang trial. After Kozak was indicted by a federal grand jury for the criminal tax charges and while on pre-trial release, she filed five more false liens on properties owned by another federal U.S. District Court judge, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Nebraska, two Assistant U.S. Attorneys and an IRS-Criminal Investigation special agent. Due was tried and convicted in the District of Nebraska on related charges on Sept. 4, 2014.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended the special agents of the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation who investigated the case and Trial Attorneys Brian Bailey and Matthew Hoffman of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.