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Press Release

Oregon Husband and Wife Plead Guilty to Crimes Related to Filing False Retaliatory Liens Against Federal Judges and Other Federal Officials

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

An Oregon husband and wife pleaded guilty today to crimes related to filing false retaliatory liens against two federal judges, a clerk of court and a federal prosecutor for performing their official duties, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

Ronald D. Joling, 72, formerly of Coquille, Oregon, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to file false retaliatory liens against government officials.  His wife, Dorothea J. Joling, 73, also formerly of Coquille, pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false retaliatory lien.  In October 2014, the Jolings were convicted on various criminal charges related to their federal income taxes.  As part of their guilty pleas today, the Jolings admitted that while they were on pretrial release in the criminal tax case they filed false retaliatory liens claiming that multiple federal officials each owed the Jolings $100.003 million. 

Ronald Joling admitted that between August 2013 and February 2014 he conspired with his wife to file and cause the filing of false liens against the real and personal property of two federal judges assigned to the criminal tax case, the Clerk of Court for the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon and the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the tax case.  These liens were filed in the public records of the State of California.  He also admitted to filing false liens against a former federal judge and the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.  As part of her guilty plea, Dorothea Joling admitted to filing and causing the filing of a false lien against the judge who presided over the Jolings’ criminal tax case.

The Jolings were scheduled to be sentenced in the tax case on April 22, 2015, but did not appear in court.  They were fugitives until they were arrested on Oct. 5, 2015 in Arizona.  On Dec. 11, 2015, the Jolings were sentenced in the criminal tax case; Ronald Joling was sentenced to 97 months in prison and Dorothea Joling was sentenced to 48 months in prison. 

The Jolings each face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the retaliatory lien charges.  U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane set sentencing for June 22.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo thanked special agents of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case and Senior Litigation Counsel Jen Ihlo and Trial Attorney Thomas Agnello, who are prosecuting the case.

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

Updated February 18, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-192